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The Modern Crime Prevention Strategy

Volume 607: debated on Wednesday 23 March 2016

I am pleased to announce that I am today publishing the Government’s modern crime prevention strategy (“the strategy”).

Crime has fallen dramatically over the last 20 years, with previously high-volume crimes like burglary, vehicle-related theft and street violence having more than halved. Crime is also changing: previously “hidden” crimes like child sexual abuse, rape and domestic violence have all become more visible, if not more frequent, and we are developing better measures of the scale of online fraud and cybercrime.

Targeted crime prevention initiatives have made a significant contribution to cutting crime over the last 20 years. However, the changes we are now seeing mean we need to update our approach, building on the successes of the past while making full use of new tools and techniques to protect the public.

The strategy addresses what the evidence suggests are the key drivers of crime: opportunity; character; the effectiveness of the criminal justice system; profit; drugs; and alcohol. It also focuses on how we can use data and technology as powerful tools to prevent crime.

The strategy sets out a range of measures under each driver that will make crime harder to commit and less attractive to criminals. These include, for example:

Introducing legislation to ban the sale of so-called “zombie-killer” knives;

Making more information available to consumers on how secure their smartphone is; and

Keeping people safe from high harm crimes of abuse through implementing the actions in the 2016 violence against women and girls strategy

The strategy also emphasises that one of the most important lessons of the last 20 years is that neither the Government nor the police can prevent crime on their own. Crime prevention is most effective when Government, law enforcement agencies, businesses, academia, local authorities, voluntary sector organisations and the public themselves all play their part. Working together, we can continue to prevent crime even as it changes.

The strategy is available to download from the website.

Copies of the strategy will be made available in the Library of the House.