Security of people and their property is very important in any given society. It is not wise to wait until when misfortunes strike in order to take action especially on issues an individual could have taken some measures to prevent the misfortunes. The world consists of people with diverse characteristics, personalities and cultural background. Just the way an economy is unable to operate in autarky we need each other in one way or another. Among the society members include conformists and deviants. These groups of people can be identified from their actions.
It is true to openly admit that inequality and inequity have highly contributed to increase in crime all over the world. Some cultural practices also encourage criminal behaviors among people of different societies. It is very important to note that crime varies from one society to another depending on its norms that govern a particular society. If the safety of the people and their property is to be safe guarded, people must embark on established proper crime prevention strategies rather than wait for crime to be committed.
Security for all members of the society and their property is a key factor is fostering economic development. The problem of insecurity has led to creation of many organizations that offer different services to confront this problem. Some of these crime prevention strategies include the social development strategy, the community safety week program and the Toronto anti violence intervention strategy. Each of these crime prevention strategies has its own different approach of solving the problem of crime in society and it is important to note that their effectiveness vary depending on other social factors.
The social development strategy focuses on provision of vital services to members of the society in order to help in initiating positive change in the society as a way of preventing crime. The major focus groups here include the family, children and any other vulnerable group of people who are at a higher risk of becoming potential criminals. The Toronto anti violence intervention strategy is a powerful police organization that aims at building good relationship between the community members and the police force.
Due to the unique nature of different social groups, this organization focuses on each community separately. The community safety week program was established with the key objective to bring different organizations together and allow them to build partnerships and networks between each other in preventing crime. Part of their activities include raising funds that would otherwise be used to prevent crime in the society. Though different, these crime prevention strategies are very helpful to the community. This research paper focuses on these three crime prevention strategies.(Tonry M,1995)
Research indicates that the early social development of an individual contributes a lot to his problem. During the early years of a person, people witness different situations. These situations we encounter have different impacts in our lives. When a child is exposed to violence there is a very high possibility that it will act violently even when it grows up. Children who have been brought up in families where domestic violence is taken as something normal will end up doing the same when they will get the opportunity.
There have been some cases where parents encourage their children to engage in criminal activities. These include sending children to steal other people’s property, going to night clubs with children and exposing them to pornographic scenes and many others. Some parents also commit crimes in presence of there children and justify their acts in front of their children. Research indicates that these activities will negatively impact on the children’s life and the children will most likely engage in criminal activities when they grow up.
Such situations are however triggered by some factors which can in other words be referred to as risk factors. These include low level of education, inadequate parenting, high rate of unemployment, unstable living conditions which include violence and parental abuse and above all high levels of poverty. Research indicates that lack of basic human needs due to high level of poverty will pose a danger not only to those who lack them but the other members of the society who will have to face high rates of crime endegering their lives and property. This can be attributed to the “frustration aggression hypothesis” (http://www1.appstate.edu/~beckhp/aggfrustrationagg.htm) where an individual becomes frustrated if he /she cannot acquire the basic human needs. As a result of these frustrations in life he/she will become aggressive and such aggressions can be portrayed through criminal activities.
Research indicates that crime is higher in poor or undeveloped countries then the developed countries. Crime also varies within a particular nation depending on the income level of people. In all countries criminal activities are usually higher in slums than estates.
Through social development prevention strategy parents are encouraged to demonstrate to their children good morals since they act as role models to their children. All situations that may encourage children to indulge in criminal activities are also discouraged. Families are given adequate support to earn a living and reduce poverty levels. These include financing small businesses and lowering interests rates to ensure people access credits to start small businesses. Entrepreneurship has been encouraged to be part of the syllabus in all schools in many countryside://www.penwith.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=9746
Toronto anti violence intervention strategy(TAVIS): Research indicates that poor relationship between society members and the police increases criminal activities in any country. Cases have been reported from different parts of the world where people are intimidated by the police after providing information to them about criminal activities. The police and members of the public should not behave as enemies. For the law enforcers to succeed in their work the members of the public must be involved. Criminals live in the society and they live with people who are very much aware of their activities. If good relationship is encouraged between the police and the members of a society, these lawbreakers will easily be tracked down and brought to justice.
This Toronto Anti violence intervention has been highly supported by the police service in ensuring that the city is safe and peaceful,for people to live ,work and also play, what the chief officer referred to as “a thriving city where people work alongside each other ,against those who choose to endanger public safety”http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/tavis/.On the success of the TAVIS program,the police have increased CCTV cameras in some areas in the year 2006,which were expanded to 51 divisions in the year 2007.These CCTV cameras have already yielded fruits bu providing vital investigative leads and specifically in a number of homicide investigations. CCTV cameras have been deterring people from committing crimes since they are a good source of evidence for these who attempt or commit the crime .According to the chief officer ,there is a plan to deploy technology that will effectively boost the efforts that the people have dedicated to the efforts the TAVIS has made to increase the community participation in fighting crime.
In 2006,it was reported that there was an extra ordinary influx of new members that has continued to keep the people of Toronto safe. One thousand of new police officers and two hundred new civilians were freshly hired and trained ,As a result new skills were added ,cultural competences and languages were also added increasing support that was vital to the front line of the Toronto police service. Police presence has been maintained an all troubled neighborhoods as a way to stop and prevent crime. On the other hand the TAVIS has involved the community organizations in identifying appropriate solutions to the problem of insecurity. According to the chief in his speech dated 7th January 2008,”TAVIS is working very well and remains a key part of our comprehensive plan,fostering and building upon meaningful relationship—” http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/tavis/
Strict enforcement in combination of strategic uniform deployment of resources ,persistent search of criminals good relationship with the community at large has been proved to yield good results ,something that the chief officer insists that “we will build on this”http://www.torrantopolice—)
Domestic violence has also been highlighted as a major concern in Toronto .The TAVIS proposed to initiate response services that are not only comprehensive but also integrated .This will include actions such as increasing the members of the community and upgrading policing measures .Research indicated that the women are the most affected by domestic violence in Toronto. TAVIS aims at fighting against any culture that accommodates domestic violence. Wife battery not only affects the victims psychological state but also causes physical harm to children who witness these cruel acts are also affected psychologically and may turn to criminal activities.
We have witnessed children running away from homes not only in Toronto but in other parts of the world as a result of domestic violence. In most cases such violence activities result from gender stereotyping that has been categorizing some people as inferior while others have been reduced to slaves .In societies where patriarchy is dominant husbands have been treated like gods while women have been harassed and abused .This also applies to societies where matriarchy is dominant. All these and other gender based violence have attracted a lot of attention to the TAVIS.
Looking for a solution is very important but above that is the enforcement .This is not an issue of the police alone but includes the participation of the community members .According to the chief officer ,the community support ,participation as well as partnerships is required to innovate solutions that will amicably solve the problem. These are also vital in keeping peace, enforcing laws and crime prevention. All efforts and partnerships of each day and the foundations the, TAVIS is laying for the year 2008 and the future strengthens the community ‘s power to both create as well as to nature a good environment,”one that offers peaceful prosperous communities” http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/news/2006/20060105-gun-strat-bg.asp TAVIS has made encouraging steps in maintaining Toronto’s rep(it should be noted that implementation of Tutation as one of the safest world cities (http://www.toronto.ca/scfy/assets/appendix%202%20-%20C2.pdf)
The strategy encourages people to work hand in hand with the police to curb criminal activities. The police should help restore peace and justice in any community. Confidentiality is an important element in ensuring that this strategy yields good results. In a society where the people are confident and satisfied with the activities of the police, crime is very minimal. Use of police hot line and suggestion boxes in public places may effectively link the society members and the police.
Unlike in the past the police should act as mediators whenever a conflict arise rather than suppress the conflict by use of force. In some cases like terrorists activities force may not be a solution since no one can predict when and where the terrorists will strike. This is where the members of the public must come out and report any suspicious activities or individual. The police should respond fast on any issues that have been reported to threaten people’s lives. Research indicate that many criminal activities reported are ignored by the police rather than taking appropriate action in time. Many criminal activities that are witnessed all over the world are forewarned by public members and their cry to prevent them fall on the police’s deaf ears.
Such a strategy like the Toronto anti violence intervention strategy will enhance good relations and foster economic development. This is through creating an enabling environment through crime reduction by using prevention strategies.(http://wwwspringerlink.com/content/161g234022235807/)
Community safety week program: Research indicates that the different organizations that exist in our society can contribute in preventing crime. These organizations come together and show solidarity in supporting any effort to prevent crime in the society. Forums and fund raising are some of the major activities these organizations can do. They educate society members on criminal matters and create an environment where ignorance of law cannot be taken as an excuse for those who commit crime. This has highly succeeded in fighting corruption, racism, tribalism and domestic violence in many countries. People get an opportunity to meet and discuss all their challenges including any risk factors that may lead to criminal activities. They seek solutions and if the problem needs injection of some funds, they mobilize funds through fund raising projects. Research indicates that when a problem has been publicly declared as a disaster each person becomes involved and as a result a solution is arrived at sooner than later. This is the reason why some countries declare for instance, floods or hunger as a natural disaster in order to draw the attention of the international community.
In new Brunswick,the public safety minister Wayne steeves released details of the community safety and crime prevention week on 8th November ,2005(http://www.gnb.ca/cnb/news/ps/2005e1519ps.htm). On this particular week a website for family was launched. At the same time,an awards banquet and conference was also launched under the courtesy of crime prevention association of Brunswick. This ceremony was aimed to honor and reward both individuals and organizations for their important contributions to community safety and crime prevention strategies. Research indicates such initiatives encourage people to come out and fight against crime without fear or favor .It has been found out that such like initiatives exposes all societies criminal activities and leads to arresting of notorious criminals within the society.
Criminal activities like drug trafficking have been reported to reduce in areas where community safety week program is introduced .It should be noted that community safety involves a number of issues ranging from drug abuse and violent crime to accident prevention in areas of residence .Problems like crime, antisocial behavior ,disorder and all issues that affect peoples quality of life like graffiti and vehicle abandonment are all issues addressed through community safety week program. http://www.penwith.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=9746 In united kingdom ,the Cornwall and isles of scilly community safety partnership is entirely dedicated to peoples cooperation in tackling these problems pro-actively. Community safety week involves a program of events that has been specifically designed not only to promote but also to highlight the safety of the community through involvement of agencies in corn well and Isles of scilly community safety partnerships
It is also important to note that community safety is not only about making the communities safe but also involves strengthening them to eliminate crime and any fear of crime. Research indicates that a safe,strong community is a happy community as well as a healthy community with higher chances of life and opportunity to its residents.
The Ontario government is highly concerned about crime and safety. One of the activities it does is to get guns out of streets .Research indicates that to fight gun violence requires tough action on crime, Strong enforcement combined with proper laid prevention measures must also be involved .This is not enough to fight gun violence since the most important issue is to focus on the actual causes of the crime. Ontario is currently creating good neighborhood relationships by investing in upgrading houses,safe schools ,activities that are done after school and programs for the youths and adults who are at risk. The McGuinity government promised to continue to work hand in hand with all community members in finding appropriate changes in the legislature and initiatives based on the community in its effort to stop gun violence. http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/news/2006/20060105-gun-strat-bg.asp.
The government of Ontario therefore initiated the following programmes to combat gun violence by being tough in crime .These include establishing a provincial operations center,expanding guns and gangs risk face,expanding provincial weapons enforcement unit funding police in high priority areas among other. The most important is community impact evidence which according to the ministry of the Attorney general was to seek tough sentences through developing as well as presenting evidence to the court about the negative impact of gun related violence on both individual as well as the communities http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/news/2006/20060105-gun-strat-bg.asp This cannot be possible without involving the community members after educating them through community safety week program,getting guns out of the public must involve the public as a whole. Such involvement as indicated by research saves a country resources and is likely to bear good fruits if properly implemented.
In comparison of the above three crime prevention strategies, research indicates that the social development strategy is more effective. Just to illustrate, in my community the majority number of crimes reported are economic crimes. This is a result of economic inequality in the society that has created a class of rich and another of the poor. People tend to invent new methods of earning their living and as a result they indulge in criminal activities. These criminal activities take place even in the open and expose children to such situations. The children imitate the society members and with time they become criminals themselves. This is the reason why prostitution, child trafficking, rape and drug abuse has been increasingly reported in my society.
The Toronto anti violence intervention strategy is the second in terms of effectiveness. Even though the Toronto anti violence intervention strategy plays a vital role it does not give the causes of crimes especially those related to economic activities the weight they deserve. It is always wise to involve the police in solving problems that are social in nature but they should be used mainly in times of crisis. In order to restore calm. Social problems should be addressed from the root cause and they should not be solved by use of military means. The Toronto anti violence intervention strategy emphasizes on eliminating the criminals with the aid of the community participation. Isolating criminals from a community , though an important act should never be taken to substitute the most important action or issue that need immediate solution; that of investigating the cause of the problem and solving it to prevent future occurrences.
After the Toronto anti violence intervention strategy comes the community safety week strategy. I do not actually mean that it is not a good strategy but it has a lot of shortcomings compared to the two discussed previously in its implementation process. First and foremost this strategy has not been properly formulated to put into considerations the diversity of cultures in the society. Cultural differences should be dissolved and a sense of oneness initiated if this crime prevention strategy is to succeed. Stereotyping has been used by different people in the society to overshadow their criminal activities by creating a barrier between the community leaders and their followers.
In some parts of India, for example the stereotype that committing suicide by a spouse by throwing himself/herself in fire during cremation indicates the amount of love that the spouses had for each other. This stereotype poses a great danger to to those people who attempt to negate it . This is what the Indians call ‘saati’ and is normally regarded as bravery but not a crime. Community safety week therefore tends to ignore some groups of the society. Communication barriers also present a major blow to this strategy. Many countries use different languages. As research indicates, the less educated people in the society present the highest number of crimes. To reach these people through community safety week strategy is a big problem.
all these strategies provide an essential tool for crime prevention. as the bar graph below indicates, those areas where the social development strategy was used , there were the least number of crimes reported while in those areas where the community safety week was used there were the highest number of crimes reported. The Toronto anti violence intervention strategy presented moderately reduced number of crimes . From these results it is true to say that a ‘strategy mix’ that incorporates two or three of the strategies discussed will successfully reduce crime if not to prevent it once and for all(http://www.toronto.ca/scfy/assets/appendix%202%20-%20C2.pdf)
The bar graph below demonstrates the corporative analysis of the effectiveness of these three crime prevention strategies over the last one year.
Fact sheet:crime prevention through social development,http://ww4.ps-sp.gc.ca/en/library/publications/fact_sheets/cpsd/index.html
crime and community context, Retrieved on 21st march,2008 from (http://wwwspringerlink.com/content/161g234022235807/) on 22nd march,2008
TAVIS-Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy, Retrieved from (http://www.toronto.ca/scfy/assets/appendix%202%20-%20C2.pdf) on 23rdmarch,2008
the frustration aggression,Retrieved from from (http://www1.appstate.edu/~beckhp/aggfrustrationagg.htm) on 22nd march,2008
Tonry M(1995), strategic approaches to crime pp.1-20
Toronto police, Retrieved from http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/tavis/ on 25 March,2008
, Retrieved from http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/news/2006/20060105-gun-strat-bg.asp on MARCH 5TH, 2008
Community Safety Week in Cornwall 2004Retrieved from
http://www.penwith.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=9746 2008 on March 25th