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New approaches to local crime prevention

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Justice
Media Statement

24 October 2003

New approaches to local crime prevention

Local councils are to assume greater control over local crime prevention initiatives following a review of the Safer Community Council (SCC) network, Justice Minister Phil Goff announced today.

"Some excellent work is being done by Safer Community Councils. However the review found that the 'one size fits all' approach of the past 10 years has not always targeted resources to areas of greatest need, or put in place the most effective crime prevention measures,” Mr Goff said.

"The review, undertaken by the Ministry of Justice's Crime Prevention Unit (CPU), recognises that the existing model has been effective in bringing together stakeholders and identifying priorities for crime prevention efforts in many communities.

"However the SCC model has had varying success in identifying local crime problems, implementing effective prevention programmes and in the management and accountability of government funding.

"The existing model ties up the bulk of available funding in administrative infrastructure, rather than actual projects, even though the SCC approach might not in practice be the best solution for a particular community.

"In response to the review, the Government will be moving to a range of models, tailored to meet the differing needs of metropolitan areas, provincial cities, and smaller communities.

"The new approach will encourage councils to take a stronger leadership role in the planning, delivery, and management of their community's local crime prevention initiatives.

"The government will bring to the partnership longer-term, more flexible funding arrangements, and greater support to help councils identify local priorities and implement high quality strategies.

"Delivering effective crime prevention programmes at the local level is the key focus. This is where the review will help to concentrate our efforts," Mr Goff said.

"Whether particular areas retain an SCC infrastructure, or shift their entire funding towards specific projects, will depend on the needs of each area on a case-by-case basis.

"Most major cities have disbanded their SCCs and incorporated crime prevention strategic planning in core council business.

"Crime prevention in some provincial cities and other centres may benefit from an enhanced SCC infrastructure. Other communities may have specific needs that are more effectively addressed directly by the local council working in partnership with the CPU.

"The CPU will discuss the review findings and the way forward for each community with local councils over the next few weeks. Irrespective of the eventual model adopted, the equivalent total funding currently available to each community will still be available next year.

'In the interim, funding for all existing projects and programmes will continue through to the end of the current financial year.

"I am confident that these changes will promote more effective crime prevention. Over time, they will also allow the CPU to invest greater financial and human resources in areas of greatest need," Mr Goff said.

All Phil Goff’s media releases and speeches are posted at www.beehive.govt.nz

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