How to prevent maritime theft?

maritime theft

This paper offers an introduction to the phenomenon of maritime theft, by exploring the general context of the issue and examining the effectiveness and implementation possibilities of potential prevention initiatives.  

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ECPA winners 2023

The European Crime Prevention Award (ECPA) and Best Practice Conference (BPC) took place on 13 and 14 December 2023 in Valencia. The theme was preventing the trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labour exploitation and other kinds of exploitation.

Discover the winners: 

  1. Portugal: MERCADORIA HUMANA 4 (Human Merchandise 4) - Awareness Project on Human Trafficking
    The Jury wholeheartedly congratulates the Portuguese "Human Merchandise 4" entry with winning the 2023 European Crime Prevention Award. The Portuguese project was lauded for its many approaches, each customised for one of the several target groups on which the project focusses. Especially the inclusion of some highly vulnerable groups such as people with disabilities was appreciated. The activities put forward are all connected in a well-thought-out manner with a clear goal in mind. The innovative angle of THB in sports was rated very positively. While the link between raised awareness and behavioural outcomes remains unsubstantiated, there is fairly convincing evidence that the project achieved significant improvements in knowledge in the target groups.
  2. Greece: National Emergency Response Mechanism (NERM)
    The Jury congratulates the Greek project with its second place. The Greek programme focusses on one of the most exploitable group related to Trafficking in Human Beings: unaccompanied children, specifically those outside of the protection system. By creating a strong synergy between the police and civil society the risk factors are also reduced in an efficient way. However, due to the high costs, the replicability in other Member States is slightly burdened. Design strengths of the programme are its elaborate, research-based problem analysis as well as its specific and measurable objectives; the outcome evaluation unfortunately did not measure relevant outcome indicators.
  3. Romania: The prevention campaign “Prison is not only behind bars!"
    The Jury awards the Romanian "Prison is not only behind bars" project the third place. Its approach of focussing on the demand side: those who by the products or services produced by exploited labour. This is unique and brings the topic to the society as a whole, empowering consumers to take action too. The dissemination strategy was well-thought-out and the programme theory well-developed. The problem analysis and the objectives were adequate, but an outcome evaluation with relevant outcome indicators could have substantiated the results. The campaign appears mostly state-run and could benefit from the involvement of other, international stakeholders.

Discover all initiatives 


Toolbox on work-related crime

Work-related crime refers to all infractions of laws and regulations regarding salary and employment, benefits, taxes and duties. This includes labour exploitation, forced labour, and trafficking in human beings for labour exploitation, as well as all criminal activities that may be related to, or indicative of, these crimes: benefit fraud, tax evasion and money laundering, breaching workplace safety regulations, salary extortion, and so on. 

There are different prevention strategies, each with their own benefits and disadvantages. Victim-oriented approaches include awareness programmes for potential victims, as well as victim identification and assistance. Buyer-oriented strategies target both personal and corporate buyers, and aim to shrink the market for services and goods produced by exploited labour. Offender-oriented approaches have the objective to create an environment that is risky and unrewarding for offenders to operate in. The latter may be achieved by a mix of criminal justice and administrative probes that benefits from increased information sharing between authorities and across borders.

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Recommendation paper: How online fraud works and how to prevent it

Online fraud continues to be a prominent issue in Europe and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Fortunately, a lot of information is available about how (online) fraud works and how these scams can be prevented.
If we want to design effective crime prevention initiatives, using the available intelligence is key. This paper puts forward some general concepts and tools to do precisely this. 
Several tools that can be implemented in crime prevention initiatives can also serve as a source of inspiration when building new projects or can be implemented within existing ones. Online fraud is characterised by a high degree of flexibility on the part of the offenders, enabling them to adapt to changing circumstances. The information in this paper allows you to develop scientifically backed responses to them in kind.

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Toolbox - High-risk victim groups: Preventing repeat and secondary victimisation

Two papers make up the EUCPN toolbox on High-risk victim groups: Preventing repeat and secondary victimisation.

  • This first paper provides a theoretical overview combined with practical information and examples on the topic of repeat- and secondary victimisation. The first chapter examines which groups of people can be considered as high-risk victim groups due to their personal susceptibility characteristics. The second chapter discusses how the victim-centred approach as well as multi-agency cooperation can play a role in preventing secondary victimisation. The final chapter focuses on breaking the cycle of repeat victimisation by encouraging victims’ reporting behaviours, referring them successfully to other support services and assisting them during a potential court trial. It is important to acknowledge that this toolbox focuses on the prevention of repeat and secondary victimisation from the victim's perspective, without placing any blame or responsibility with the victims themselves. Despite this paper’s focus, it is equally important to focus on tackling perpetrators who commit crimes in order to prevent victimisation.
  • The second paper provides an overview of the participants of the 2022 European Crime Prevention Award.

This toolbox was written in the light of the Czech Presidency of the EUCPN.
Published: December 2022.


European Crime Prevention Conference

The European Crime Prevention Conference is EUCPN's biennial conference and offers a forum to share knowledge and experiences regarding crime prevention across the European Union. It welcomes policymakers, practitioners and academics, but maintains a consistent focus on the front line. The main topic of 2022 was partnership approaches in crime prevention, the conference took place on 28 and 29 April 2022 in Brussels. You can download the presentations here.

 Our anniversary

20th anniversary

It is a special year for EUCPN 
as we celebrate our 20th anniversary on 28 May 2021. Learn more about what we do.


Crime prevention - a European definition

The EUCPN defines crime prevention as:

Ethically acceptable and evidence-based activities aimed at reducing the risk of crime occurring and its harmful consequences with the ultimate goal of working towards the improvement of the quality of life and safety of individuals, groups and communities

The paper covers this definition in depth, offering information on the different aspects within our understanding of crime prevention.


Working Agreement with CEPOL 

EUCPN Chair Ivo Jakić
EUCPN Chair Ivo Jakić

On 23 June we have signed a Working Agreement with CEPOL (European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training) to strengthen our cooperation. The Agreement allows participation of the EUCPN Secretariat in CEPOL training sessions and CEPOL staff in EUCPN activities and enhances the dissemination of crime prevention initiatives and research.

The document was signed by CEPOL’s Executive Director, Dr.h.c Detlef Schröder and the current Chair of EUCPN, Mr. Ivo Jakić. Commenting on the signing of the Working Agreement, Executive Director of CEPOL, Dr.h.c Detlef Schröder stated:

CEPOL and EUCPN have worked together for several years in promoting crime prevention knowledge and practices among the law enforcement communities of EU Member States. I welcome the formalisation of this cooperation, which strengthens the important work both parties carry out and provides a good opportunity to emphasise the importance of common trainings for law enforcement officials to raise awareness and increase knowledge of international and European co-operation instruments and mechanisms. (Source)