Towards evidence-based crime prevention in the EU

To improve crime prevention at the local, national and European level, the EUCPN and its Secretariat (SEC) have several tools at their disposal. Fundamentally, the Network shares information and good practices regarding crime prevention. Yet, despite all foundational documents referring to ‘effective’, ‘evidence-based’ or ‘evaluated’ information, there has been no clear understanding of what the Network should share – or not. No fixed criteria or assessment procedures have ever been established and, as a result, there has been no quality assurance on what the Network shares among its members and the wider public. This Strategy lays out the framework for addressing this predicament and aspires to further improve the field while strengthening and supporting an evidence-based approach throughout the European Union.

However, some early steps have already been taken, as in the SEC’s publications, through the development of QUALIPREV1 and the recent adoption of the Network's definition of crime prevention.2 These first steps and discussions culminated in the Multiannual Strategy 2021-2025 (MAS), where the Member States emphasised the evidence-based approach throughout the Network’s approach to continue improving crime prevention.

The present Strategy supports that goal and aims to improve the Network's internal functioning and processes in this sense.3 It includes:

  1. A set of criteria that serve as minimum thresholds for assessing crime prevention interventions for further dissemination by the Network;
  2. A set of other types of evidence and knowledge that the Network should continue to share with its target groups in order to improve the crime prevention field;
  3. A roadmap containing the actions the Network will take to increase the uptake of evidence-based practice in the EU crime prevention field.

 

Adopted by EUCPN Board on 8 December 2021.