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Guidelines for Cooperation and Technical Assistance in the Field of Urban Crime Prevention (UN), 1995

(ECOSOC resolution 1995/9 of 24 July 1995)
The Economic and Social Council

Recalling its resolutions 1979/20 of 9 May 1979, 1984/48 of 25 May 1984, 1990/24 of 24 May 1990 and 1993/27 of 27 July 1993 and General Assembly resolutions 45/121 of 14 December 1990 and 46/152 of 18 December 1991,

Recalling also its resolutions 1992/22 of 30 July 1992 and 1993/34 of 27 July 1993,

Recalling further its resolution 1994/20 of 25 July 1994, as well as resolution 1, section IV, of the Ninth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, in which the Ninth Congress invited the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, at its fourth session, to finalize and adopt the proposed guidelines for cooperation and technical assistance in the field of urban crime prevention, contained in the annex to resolution 1994/20,

Recalling further the Milan Plan of Action, the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (The Beijing Rules), the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (The Riyadh Guidelines), the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Non-custodial Measures (The Tokyo Rules), the Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power, and the resolution entitled "Prevention of urban crime" adopted by the Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders,

Aware of the universal character of urban crime,

Recognizing the usefulness of establishing guidelines to facilitate the prevention of urban crime,

Seeking to respond to the call by many States for technical cooperation programmes adapted to local conditions and needs,

1. Adopts the guidelines for cooperation and technical assistance in the field of urban crime prevention, annexed to the present resolution, which were considered by the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice at its second, third and fourth sessions and by the Ninth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, held at Cairo from 29 April to 8 May 1995, and which are designed to make urban crime prevention more effective;

2. Requests the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to ensure the publication of the guidelines in the most appropriate form;

3. Exhorts Member States to report to the Secretary-General on their experiences in elaborating and evaluating projects dealing with urban crime prevention, taking into account the guidelines;

4. Invites the interregional, regional and affiliated institutes cooperating with the United Nations in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice and non-governmental organizations to share their experiences in urban crime prevention;

5. Requests the Secretary-General to transmit the guidelines to the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II), to be held at Istanbul from 3 to 14 June 1996;

6. Requests the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to consider practical ways of ensuring follow up on the use and application of the guidelines;

7. Calls upon the United Nations Development Programme, other relevant United Nations organizations and bodies, and international financial institutions to give appropriate consideration to the inclusion in their assistance programmes of projects dealing with urban crime prevention.


Guidelines for Cooperation and Technical Assistance in the Field of Urban Crime Prevention

A. Design and implementation of cooperation and assistance activities

1. Cooperation projects for urban crime prevention should take account of the principles set out below.

1. Local approach to problems

2. Urban crime is characterized by a multiplicity of factors and forms. A multi-agency approach and a coordinated response at the local level, in accordance with an integrated crime prevention action plan, will often be helpful. This should involve:

(a) A local diagnostic survey of crime phenomena, their characteristics, factors leading to them, the form they take and their extent;

(b) The identification of all the relevant actors that could take part in compiling the above-mentioned diagnostic survey in crime prevention as well as in the fight against crime, for example, public institutions (national or local), local elected officials, the private sector (associations, enterprises), the voluntary sector, community representatives etc.;

(c) The establishment, wherever appropriate, of consultation mechanisms promoting closer liaison, the exchange of information, joint work and the design of a coherent strategy;

(d) The elaboration of possible solutions to these problems in the local context.

2. Integrated crime prevention action plan

3. The authors of an integrated crime prevention action plan, in order for it to be comprehensive and efficient, should:

(a) Define:

(i) The nature and types of crime problems to be tackled, such as theft, robbery, burglary, racial attacks, drug-related crimes, juvenile delinquency and illegal possession of firearms, taking into account all the factors that may directly or indirectly cause such problems or contribute to them;

(ii) The objectives being pursued and the time by which they should be attained;

(iii) The action envisaged and the respective responsibilities of those involved vis-à-vis the implementation of the plan (for example, whether local or national resources are to be mobilized);

(b) Consider involving a range of actors representing in particular:

(i) Social workers, education, housing and health workers, in addition to the police, the courts, public prosecutors and probation services etc.;

(ii) The community: elected officials, associations, volunteers, parents, victims' organizations etc.;

(iii) The economic sector: enterprises, banks, business, public transport etc.;

(iv) The media;

(c) consider the relevance to the crime prevention action plan of such factors as:

(i) Relationships in the family, between generations or between social groups etc.;

(ii) Education, religious, moral and civic values, culture etc.;

(iii) Employment, training, measures for combating unemployment and poverty;

(iv) Housing and urbanism;

(v) Health, drug and alcohol abuse;

(vi) Government and community welfare aid for the least fortunate members of society;

(vii) Combating the culture of violence and intolerance;

(d) Consider providing for action at various levels:

(i) Primary prevention:

a. By promoting situational criminal prevention measures, such as target hardening and opportunity reduction;

b. By promoting welfare and health development and progress and by combating all forms of social deprivation;

c. By promoting communal values and respect for fundamental human rights;

d. By promoting civic responsibility and social mediation procedures;

e. By facilitating the adaptation of the working methods of the police and the courts;

(ii) Prevention of recidivism:

a. By facilitating the adaptation of methods of police intervention (rapid response, intervention within the local community etc.);

b. By facilitating the adaptation of methods of judicial intervention and implementation of alternative remedies:

i. Diversification of methods of treatment and of measures taken according to the nature and seriousness of the cases (diversionary schemes, mediation, a special system for minors etc.);

ii. Systematic research on the reintegration of offenders involved in urban crime through the implementation of non-custodial measures;

iii. Socio-educational support within the framework of the sentence, in prison and as preparation for release from prison;

c. By giving an active role to the community in the rehabilitation of offenders;

(iii) After the sentence has been served: aid and socio-educational support, family support etc.;

(iv) Protection of victims by practical improvements in their treatment by means of the following:

a. Raising awareness of rights and how to exercise them effectively;

b. Reinforcing rights (in particular the right to compensation);

c. Introducing systems of victim assistance.

B. Implementation of the action plan

1. Central authorities

4. The central authorities, to the extent consistent with their competence, should:

(a) Provide active support, assistance and encouragement to local actors;

(b) Coordinate national policy and strategies with local strategies and needs;

(c) Organize consultation and cooperation mechanisms between the various administrations concerned at the central level.

2. Authorities at all levels

5. Competent authorities at all levels should:

(a) Be constantly mindful of respect for the fundamental principles of human rights in promoting these activities;

(b) Encourage and/or implement appropriate training and information to support all professionals involved in crime prevention;

(c) Compare experiences and organize exchanges of know-how;

(d) Provide a means of evaluating regularly the effectiveness of the strategy implemented and provide for the possibility of revising it.

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