Community Safety Milestones

From the early 1960s there was a steady rise in crime rates across the UK, especially in London. Prior to the 1980s, the expectation was that crime prevention and crime reduction was solely the domain of the criminal justice services and that generally, any crime prevention initiative was expected to come from the police service. However, from the early 1980s, work encourage by both central and local government began to shape initiatives which linked a range of public services with the communities that they served to successfully prevent and reduce crime. Below is a table of the key events/milestones in the development of London's community and statutory partnership based community safety and crime and anti social behaviour prevention and reduction.




Scarman Report 1981

Loss of confidence and mistrust in the police and their methods of policing. He recommended concerted efforts to recruit more ethnic minorities into the police force; changes in training and law enforcement; statutory community consultation and accountability; changes in policing methods.

MPS established Lambeth Police & Community Consultative Group (PCCG). Lam

beth Council established it's Police Monitoring activities.

Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984

PACE 1984 was a direct result of the Scarman report and recommendations concerning the regulation of police activity. It instituted a legislative framework for the powers of police officers in England and Wales to combat crime, as well as providing codes of practice for the exercise of those powers and provided a benchmark to monitor police activity in London and nationally.

Stimulated the establishment of Police and Community consultation (see above) and various locally established community police monitoring groups.

Safer Cities Projects 1988-95 and establishment of Crime Concern charity

Central government established crime prevention programmes established in Lewisham, Tower Hamlets and other boroughs.

Small locally based teams tasked with development of partnership crime prevention programmes, guided by Crime Concern and working with MPS and other police services. 

Home Office Standing Conference on Crime Prevention 1991

Morgan Report. "Crime prevention inter-relates with many aspects of local government and the diverse elements of the criminal justice system."

"The term crime prevention is often narrowly interpreted and this reinforces the view that it is solely the responsibility of the police".


1992 Hammersmith and Fulham establish Community Safety Unit - first in the country.

Promoted "the case for a partnership approach". Wide scale voluntary adoption in UK. In London MPS Established Partnership Policing programme. Number of London LAs supported this to varying degrees.

Crime Prevention in the 1990s. Association of London Authorities

The Association of London Authorities, London boroughs working group produced ground breaking report in 1993 with Specimen Local Authority Corporate Policy on Crime Prevention, Community Safety and Victim Provision.

Corporate policy picked up by various boroughs (Hammersmith and Fulham, Islington, Brent, Hackney, Wandsworth, Merton etc.); providing basis for early cross service/department work to reduce crime. Prompted the development of projects and teams targeting work of crime and disorder reduction.

Single Regeneration Budget (SRB) Challenge Fund

SRB came into operation in April 1994 and was designed to encourage partnership working between those with a stake in local regeneration by acting as a flexible funding supplement to main programmes. 

Development of crime reduction projects in Waltham Forest, Harrow and Brent, Merton, Wandsworth and Harrow supported wide ranging good practice development and support for inter borough work to reduce crime.

Making London Safer - Association of London Authorities - 1995

ALA launches series of papers (first on Youth Crime reduction) to lay foundations for conference. Containing information on good practice in working  on the social issues liked to youth crime and youth crime reduction.

Consolidates understanding of the potential for youth crime reduction in London boroughs and prompts the development of new projects across London to reduce youth crime.

The London Summit. Association of London Government

Survey identified top concerns of Londoners included crime. Provided priority for London Borough Grants programme and establishment of later Community Safety Officers Forum etc.

Grants to borough based community saf

ety/crime prevention activities.

Crime and Disorder Act 1998

1. Gave local authorities and police services duties to work together to develop crime and disorder audits crime and disorder audits and implement reduction strategies and to work in partnership with other agencies - Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) - to  tackle the identified problems. Over the years this has evolved through legislation and practice.
2. Youth Offending
3. ASB - introduction of orders
4. Section 17 Placed a duty on local authorities to give 'due regard' to the need to do all that they reasonably can to prevent crime and disorder in its area, in the exercising of its functions.

Development and boroug

h level of Community Safety Partnerships and co-ordinated work at regional level (through the Government Office for L

ondon) to develop researched and informed practice to reduce crime in communities. Supported by various London Borough Grants and national targeted funding.

Development of practice to tackle anti-social behaviour. Local audits of work undertaken by London boroughs to ensure work across the board was supporting crime reduction.


This Home Office site has developed from the Government’s Together and Respect campaigns run between 2004-2008.

Online and direct advice, programmes and funding initiative to strengthe

n resolve reference ASB.

ASB Working Group Regional Officer for GOL borough activities both joint c

o-ordination and local groups. Encouraged development of good practice and community involvement in ASB reduction and supported various social landlord initiatives in boroughs

to co-ordinate work on estates to better deal with ASB and linked causal issues.

Stephen Lawrence Inquiry 1998-99

Public inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993, headed by Sir William Macpherson, examined the original Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) investigation and concluded that the MPS was "institutionally racist". Publication in 1999 of the resulting Macpherson Report has been called 'one of the most important moments in the modern history of criminal justice in Britain' ( Publication of Local Government Information Unit Briefing Lawrence Inquiry Report: Implications for Local Authorities.

70 recommendations. Had a major impact on the development of London local government and policing policy, providing a benchmark for discussions to challenge institutional racism and disadvantage in the metropolis (e.g. encouraged the development of the MPS Race and Diversity Strategy and implementation of the national Code of Practice on Reporting and Recording Racial Incidents).

Police and Justice Act 2006

The provisions contained within Sections 19-21 of the Police and Justice Act 2006 extended the remit of local authorities to scrutinise the functioning of the local CSPs in England Wales. Section 96 required arrangements to be made to obtain the views of the community on policing. Added to various statutes requirements (from the Police and Criminal Evidence Act


Various acts placed duties on the MPS and the  Metropolitan Police Authority to work with its statutory partners and the community. Establishment of joint strategic London Borough's Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership Board meeting quarterly and developing various strands of work through sub committees (ASB, Robbery Reduction etc.).

Delivering Safer Communities: a guide to effective partnerships 2007 - Home Office

The guidance introduced the concept of Hallmarks of Effective Partnership and is divided up into four key aspects of partnership business.

Consolidation of good practice in community safety used as guidance to improve work being undertaken at borough and regional level and for purposes of audits in crime and disorder reduction work by boroughs.

Policing & Social Responsibility Act 2011

Replaces police authorities with directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners, with the aim of improving police accountability (outside London first elections to be held November 2012).

Makes specific provisions in London for the delegation of Police Authority responsibilities to the elected Mayor of London


Development of Mayor of London's role as lead for London on Community Safety. Establishment of Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime  (MOPAC) and London Crime Reduction Board (Joining London Councils Leaders with MOPAC and lead CJS officers) to discuss and co-ordinate. Development of MOPAC managed, borough based Safer Neighbourhood Boards to replace Community and Police Engagement Groups and transfer of management of community safety funding from central government to MOPAC.