Skip to Content

Crime Prevention

There are many approaches to safer communities. Two main approaches are:

  • situational crime prevention - activities that stop crime like police enforcement, and reduce opportunities for crime like making changes to buildings and streets, asking the police for help, asking neighbours to look out for problems; and
  • crime prevention through social development (CPSD) - addressing the root causes or underlying factors of crime

Situational crime prevention has short-term solutions to immediate problems; CPSD has longterm solutions to the underlying causes of crime. Both approaches are needed and work along a continuum of approaches.

CPSD has long term approaches to social and economic factors such as poverty, inequality, media violence, racism or addictions with the goal to stop crime before it happens. The focus on social risk factors means that it takes time to see results. Research demonstrates that this approach does work. CPSD works to increase protective factors such as family support and a sense of belonging in the community, school and workplace. CPSD is a positive, long-term approach to today's problems.

In Prince Edward Island, approaches such as the Premier's Action Committee on Family Violence Prevention, the Healthy Child Development Strategy and Summerside and Charlottetown city renewal projects all work toward building a safer future. The National Crime Prevention Centre has supported local crime prevention activities in communities across PEI.

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police endorse CPSD. At their March 2007 conference in Winnipeg, delegates supported moving forward with a National Coalition on Community Safety, Health and Well-being, and developing a National Framework for Action on Community Safety, Health and Well-being. PEI police chiefs are actively involved in the national work.

Building on Past Activities

Prince Edward Island has a history of recognizing the value of long-term approaches with communities and governments. Earlier work includes:

  • PEI Strategy for Safer Communities (1995) showed a clear recognition that being safe in our communities is connected to all facets of life.
  • PEI Approach to Safer Communities (2004) recommended Coordination (joint planning for coordinated long-term approaches), and Leadership Development (Shared leadership by community, government and police at provincial and local levels), and Resources for working together.
  • Joint Management Committee assesses provincial safer community needs and recommends projects for funding from the National Crime Prevention Centre.