Australian Institute of Criminology

Skip to content

Appendix A: Linking interventions and mechanisms

Table A1 Interventions and underlying mechanisms
Intervention Description Examples Possible mechanism(s)

Access control

Aims to increase the effort associated with committing an offence, usually through the alteration of the physical environment or surroundings to make specific crimes more difficult

Providing rebates for security alarms and devices

Increasing perimeter fencing

Alley gating

Street closures

Increase the perceived effort or rewards associated with a crime by making targets harder to access, remove or dispose of

Make target enclosures harder to penetrate to increase the perceived effort associated with a crime

Prevent potential offenders from being able to access locations where there are potential targets (property or people) or where provocation may occur

Manipulate the physical environment (built or landscaped) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

Arts development project

An arts development project is one that uses art (including visual art, theatre, dance etc) as the medium for social or community development

Urban art projects

Theatre workshops

Build a person’s resilience to offending by providing them with the resources, skills, knowledge and ability to avoid situations where their risk of offending might be increased

Awareness campaign

An awareness campaign aims to provide information to a target group to raise awareness of specific issues, crimes, services and/or preventative measures

Marketing and advertising campaigns, including the distribution of material with crime prevention advice

Distributing information about crime and security

Distributing road safety material to drivers

Security audits, including the distribution of security risk assessment toolkits or risk assessments conducted by skilled professionals

Encourage individuals (potential victims or individuals who facilitate access to targets) to consider the implications of their actions and discourage behaviour that may create opportunities for crime to occur

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing an offence

CCTV

CCTV involves the placement of cameras to capture images that are recorded or transmitted to monitors

Installation or upgrade of CCTV systems, fixed and mobile

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Encourage individuals (potential targets or individuals who facilitate access to targets) to consider the implications of their actions and discourage behaviour that may create opportunities for crime to occur and/or encourage behaviour that minimises opportunities for crime to occur

Community engagement or mobilisation

Community engagement or mobilisation projects seek to change the social structure of particular communities, through enhancing social networks, increasing informal social controls and empowering communities to take action to reduce crime

Community events that encourage individuals to engage with one another

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Encourage individuals (potential victims or individuals who facilitate access to targets) to consider the implications of their actions and discourage behaviour that may create opportunities for crime to occur and/or encourage behaviour that minimises opportunities for crime to occur

Community patrol

A community patrol is a group of people that actively patrol their community, possibly offering an outreach service to provide information and assistance to members of the community (including referrals to support services and mediation), safe transport, reporting incidents and information to police, and in some instances provide a security service to help maintain social order

Local government security patrols

Indigenous night patrols

Neighbourhood wardens

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Alleviate (or minimise the impact of) stressors (relating to the individual or environment) that may influence the behaviour of potential offenders or that might be used as an excuse for offending

CPTED/urban renewal

CPTED or urban renewal projects seek to reduce the opportunities for crime through the design and management of the built and landscaped environments. This includes strategies that involve modifying the built environment to create safer places that are less crime prone, or to make people feel safer

Integration of CPTED principles into town planning

Development of CPTED policy

CPTED audits of public spaces

Urban regeneration initiatives

Manipulate the physical environment (built or landscape) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Make target enclosures harder to penetrate to increase the perceived effort associated with a crime

Diversionary activities project

Diversionary activities attempt to divert people away from engaging in criminal or antisocial behaviour by providing alternative activities in a safe environment that are rewarding, challenging and age appropriate. These activities can reduce boredom or reduce the opportunity to engage in less desirable behaviour and can also have a socialising effect. These activities can include sport, art, media projects, music and camps (see sub-classification)

After school, weekend and vacation sport and recreational activities

Youth drop in centres

Establishing recreational facilities such as skate parks

Music festivals

Build a person’s resilience to offending by providing them with the resources, skills, knowledge and ability to avoid situations in which their risk of offending might be increased

Prevent potential offenders from being able to access locations where there are potential targets (property or people) or where provocation may occur

Education-type project

An education-type program is any structured set of activities that aims to deliver information to the target group with a view to improving their skills or knowledge. Unlike awareness campaigns, education-type projects rely on the active participation of the recipient. This can include community education and workshops, vocational education and training, professional development, strategies that aim to improve school performance and drug and alcohol education

Providing training on crime prevention to seniors, business owners, victims of crime, young people, community groups or culturally and linguistically diverse communities

Drug and alcohol education in schools

Encourage individuals (potential victims or individuals who facilitate access to targets) to consider the implications of their actions and discourage behaviour that may create opportunities for crime to occur

Build a person’s resilience to offending by providing them with the resources, skills, knowledge and ability to avoid situations in which their risk of offending might be increased

Employment project

An employment program may actively seek or assist an individual to find employment, or provide vocational/job skills training that will increase the opportunities for employment available to the individual

Mechanical skills workshops

Projects that help young people to develop resumes and applications for employment

Build a person’s resilience to offending by providing them with the resources, skills, knowledge and ability to avoid situations in which their risk of offending might be increased

Alleviate (or minimise the impact of) stressors (relating to the individual or environment) that may influence the behaviour of potential offenders or that might be used as an excuse for offending

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing an offence

Mentoring project

Mentoring is when a more experienced person takes on a role advising a less experienced person. Mentoring programs as a crime prevention strategy are characterised by contact between individuals that have had contact with the criminal justice system, or are at risk of becoming involved in offending or antisocial behaviour, with positive role models. These role models are usually older and more experienced, and provide support, guidance and encouragement to the less experienced young person

Projects that engage members of sporting clubs to mentor young people

Intervene at key developmental stages to alleviate risk factors and enhance protective factors; or address the underlying factors that contributed to an offender’s behaviour in the first place and support their transition back into the community

Build a person’s resilience to offending by providing them with the resources, skills, knowledge and ability to avoid situations in which their risk of offending might be increased

Alleviate (or minimise the impact of) stressors (relating to the individual or environment) that may influence the behaviour of potential offenders or that might be used as an excuse for offending

Natural surveillance

Strategies that are designed to increase the natural surveillance of an area encourage people to monitor the areas where they live or work as part of their everyday activity

Neighbourhood Watch

Eyes on the Street

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Manipulate the physical environment (built or landscape) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

Personal development

Personal development strategies seek to address those risk factors relating to the individual and their social environment, such as social skills, life skills and parenting skills. Early intervention or developmental intervention projects often incorporate personal development strategies

Parenting courses and support programs for young parents

Intervene at key developmental stages to alleviate risk factors and enhance protective factors; or address the underlying factors that contributed to an offender’s behaviour in the first place and support their transition back into the community

Build a person’s resilience to offending by providing them with the resources, skills, knowledge and ability to avoid situations in which their risk of offending might be increased

Police enforcement

Police enforcement of the existing legislation

Enforcement of liquor licensing legislation in entertainment precincts

Introduce or improve formal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Property marking

Aims to decrease the rewards associated with crime by making it more difficult to move on stolen property

Provide property engraving services

Increase the perceived effort or rewards associated with a crime by making targets harder to access, remove or dispose of

Restricting (or controlling) access to products

Strategies that restrict access to certain products aim to limit the ability of potential offenders to access weapons, tools or inhibitors that increase their ability or risk of offending

Restrictions on purchasing knives or graffiti implements

Restrictions on purchasing alcohol while underage or intoxicated

Prevent offenders from being able to access the resources they need in order to commit an offence or which might be used as an excuse

Rules and regulations for business

Setting informal or formal regulations that guide the operation of businesses and organisations

Code of conduct for licensees

Restrictions on secondhand dealers

Encourage individuals (potential victims or individuals who facilitate access to targets) to consider the implications of their actions and discourage behaviour that may create opportunities for crime to occur

Prevent offenders from being able to access the resources they need in order to commit an offence or which might be used as an excuse

Service coordination

Service coordination includes projects that specifically aim to improve the way in which various organisations work together to address crime problems or to provide services to offenders, victims or those at risk of becoming an offender or victim of crime. They may involve a range of other interventions, but have as their primary goal improving the way agencies work together

Projects that include police to develop referral mechanisms to improve access to services for victims of domestic violence

Audits/promotion of existing services

Minimise the likelihood of stressful events that may influence the behaviour of potential offenders or, when these events do occur, minimise their potential negative impact

Street lighting

Involves the placement or improvement of lighting to increase visibility in public spaces and thoroughfares

Increasing street lighting around public transport

Manipulate the physical environment (built or landscape) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing an offence

Support services

Support services aim to provide some type of customised support for individuals (typically on an individual basis but also in small groups) that are victims or offenders of crime, or at risk of becoming a victim or offender. This often involves individual case management or an assessment of an individual’s needs, often with a view to improving access to essential services (such as counselling, emergency accommodation etc) by way of referrals

Support services for victims of domestic violence

Outreach services for young people

Counselling for people with substance use problems

Alleviate (or minimise the impact of) stressors (relating to the individual or environment) that may influence the behaviour of potential offenders or that might be used as an excuse for offending

Build a person’s resilience to offending by providing them with the resources, skills, knowledge and ability to avoid situations in which their risk of offending might be increased

Intervene at key developmental stages to alleviate risk factors and enhance protective factors; or address the underlying factors that contributed to an offender’s behaviour in the first place and support their transition back into the community