Research and policy


The EUCPN publishes a toolbox series, with new titles appearing biannually. A toolbox focuses on the main theme of the Presidency and aims to support practitioners. It is a prevention-oriented manual in which we look at the difficulties and attempts to prevent the crime.

Our last edition:

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.

EUCPN toolbox: work-related crime

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These short papers focus on a common misconception in the crime prevention field.

Our last edition:

Why implement anti-burglary interventions when, as a result, burglars will merely relocate their activities to another nearby area? It is sometimes believed that implementing prevention interventions, such as CCTV cameras, will simply cause offenders to shift their activities to different locations, change their methods or find new targets. Yet this is only one of the possible outcomes an intervention can bring about. In practice, crime displacement is often outweighed by two other outcomes: a ceasing of crime and the diffusion of crime prevention benefits.

Read the mythbuster - Does crime prevented mean crime displaced?
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Monitor: What works to prevent domestic burglaries?
This paper aims to support European, national and local stakeholders by providing an overview of the initiatives which may, or may not, be successful in preventing domestic burglaries. All initiatives have been grouped in three categories: namely those for which strong evidence, moderate evidence or limited evidence is available. When labelling an initiative as having ‘strong evidence’, it means that several studies have consistently shown a reduction in the number of domestic burglaries, such as the one that was found to occur following target hardening by employing a combination of window locks, internal lights, door locks and external lights. Initiatives with the ‘moderate evidence’ label are those for which a limited number of studies have shown a promising impact in terms of crime reduction, such as property marking. However, more research is needed for this to be labelled ‘strong evidence’. Others, such as intruder alarm systems, have shown contradictory results or have not been evaluated properly yet but contain some characteristics that seem promising and deserve more attention. Finally, we would like to emphasise that lessons learned during implementation and the specific context should always be taken into account when policy makers and practitioners develop their own domestic burglary prevention strategies.

Recommendation paper: How to prevent 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. The target groups with the most to benefit from this paper are law enforcement units, municipalities, regional and/or national authorities, harbours and boat manufacturers. Each actor can concentrate on a specific focus area that is most relevant for them and take away lessons on how to devise their own interventions, mobilise partners and conduct evaluations.

Preventing trafficking in human beings: labour and criminal exploitation
Trafficking in human beings is a serious offence against personal and sexual freedom and integrity. A distinction can be made between different kinds of THB based on the purpose, which is always a form of exploitation. Besides trafficking for sexual exploitation, the most studied and most reported type, there are trafficking for labour exploitation, trafficking for criminal exploitation, and a few other types. Perpetrators make money off of labour exploitation in two major ways: cost reduction and revenue generation. The most promising prevention initiatives are proactive labour inspections and targeted, multi-agency investigations of situations or businesses where labour trafficking is indicated. Forced criminality can take the form of forced begging as well as forced metal theft, pickpocketing, drug production, trafficking and dealing, and benefit fraud. Prevention efforts should focus on two axes: measures to eliminate the feeding ground for criminal exploitation on the one hand and stimulating the identification and non-punishment of victims.


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