chapter  10
23 Pages

Crime prevention and community safety

WithMatt Bowden, John Topping

It may be argued that any discussion on crime prevention and community safety necessarily involves engagement with wider criminological, and indeed, social and political debates about the nature of the state, the relationship between the state and civil society and the manner through which security as a ‘public good’ is produced and distributed. At least within the criminological field, crime prevention and community safety have emerged as part of what may be imagined as the ‘preventative turn’ (Hughes, 1998; 2007) – as a means of capturing the governmental tendency towards the decentralisation of crime control from central institutions and towards the outer edges of the criminal justice system. Critics of such localising agendas argue that it is not only an extension of governing rationalities – ‘government at a distance’ (Garland, 2000) – but also a part of broader neo-liberal agendas to dismantle welfare apparatuses in favour of ‘governing through crime’ (Simon, 2007). In this regard the resocialisation of the subject as ‘self-governing’ is, in effect, a path towards creating the conditions for private security proliferation (Rose, 1999).