Community crime prevention is a general category of prevention strategies which focus on the community itself. This general category of community crime prevention includes strategies such as developmental crime prevention, effective guardianship or situational crime prevention. Community crime prevention programs are based on the idea that private citizens should play a critical role in preventing crime in their communities. Community crime prevention includes media anti-drug campaigns, silent observer programs, and neighborhood dispute resolution programs. Modern community crime prevention "partnership" schemes are based on scientific assessments and are centrally coordinated.
The definition of the community crime prevention program restricts its application to activities that include residents of a particular area who participate in efforts to stop crimes before they occur in that particular area. The belief that citizens have a duty to curb deviant behavior, the basis of community crime prevention is as old as recorded history. Community crime prevention may have started in England during the eighteenth century when playwright and novelist Henry Fielding mobilized people to addressing the root causes of crime and apprehending criminals. The idea that law-abiding citizens could prevent crime in their communities through non-punitive means received popular responce in the United States in the 1930s due to the work of the Chicago School of Sociology.
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