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Safer communities and community justice.

Prior, David
June 4, 2015

Source: (2010) In, Katherine Doolin, et. al, eds., Whose criminal justice? State or community?. Hook, Hampshire: Waterside Press. Pp. 159-172.

The emergence of community-based strategies and initiatives as a response to local problems of crime and disorder is a relatively recent phenomenon. Historically, in Britain, responsibility for crime control in specific localities has rested with the public police service; indeed, maintaining order on the streets and in public places, and ensuring the safety and security of people in the areas where they live and work, has been a core function of policing since the foundation of the modern police force in the first part of the nineteenth century. This only began to change in the 1970s and 1980s when, in response to a continually rising crime rate and growing lack of confidence in the police, the first initiatives in developing a new kind of approach to local crime control were taken. This process of change culminated in the Crime and Disorder Act of 1998 which, for the first time, created a statutory basis for local strategies of crime prevention and reduction that gave legal responsibilities to agencies other than the police, in particular local authorities. The new approach also laid strong emphasis on the role of local communities in identifying problems of crime and disorder that affected them and in developing solutions to them. (excerpt)


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