Guidance on Local Safety Audits, a publication of Efus funded by the Canadian government

 Guidance on Local Safety Audits
A compendium of international practice

The Guidance on Local Safety Audits has been produced by the European Forum for Urban Safety and is principally funded by the Government of Canada through Public Safety Canada (National Crime Prevention Centre). The principal author is Dr Sohail Husain, Director of Analytica Consulting Services (UK).

An International Advisory Group comprising experts drawn from government, international agencies, universities and other organisations working in developed, developing and transitional countries supported its preparation. The advisory group included representatives from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, India, Italy, Ivory Coast, Mexico, South Africa and the United Kingdom, as well as the European Forum for Urban Safety, the International Centre for Prevention of Crime, UN-Habitat and United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime.

The Guidance is published in English, French and Spanish and is available at no cost online. A limited number of hard copies (including the CD) will also be printed. A German version has also been made available thanks to the Beccaria Project of the Prevention Council of Lower Saxony. To request a copy, please complete and return the Order Form enclosed (see below).

This Guidance is divided into three Parts. Part A is directed primarily at those responsible for crime prevention policy and legislation at national level, as well as civic leaders with a mandate for crime prevention at city level. It highlights the connection between safety audits and wider social, economic and environmental issues, such as sustainable development, social inclusion and good urban governance. It illustrates the importance of the safety audit stage to advancing well-planned and well-executed action to reduce crime and the associated risk factors. The Guidance identifies who needs to be involved, the skills needed to complete the work, the scope of audit activity, the principles of good practice and the four main stages of audit activity.


Parts B and C are especially relevant to groups overseeing the audit process. Part B focuses on specific and important issues that pose major challenges because they are difficult to investigate. Amongst those examined here are specific populations of ‘at risk’ children and youth, women’s safety, drugs, people trafficking and crime against businesses.

Part C covers a range of technical subjects. It emphasises the importance of combining quantitative and qualitative data to gain a good understanding of problems and causal factors. Guidance is also given on the use of a range of tools and techniques for collecting information. The merits and weaknesses of different secondary sources are examined and advice is provided on the conduct of surveys.

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Table of Contents

Part A : The safety audit process

1                    Safety Audits In A Wider Context
2                    Safety Audits: An Overview
3                    Preparing To Audit
4                    The Four Stages Of Audit Implementation
5                    A participative approach : Engaging Communities

Part B : Specific issues for audit teams

6                    Children And Youth
7                    Interpersonal violence
8                    Offenders and their reintegration
9                    Trafficking in Persons
10                  Alcohol, illicit drugs and substance abuse
11                  Businesses and Crime
12                  High Crime Neighbourhoods


Part C : Sources, techniques and tools

13               Safety Audit Information: Strategic Considerations
14               Using Secondary Data Sources
15               Collecting And Using Survey Data
16               Gathering Qualitative Information

Appendix A : Risk factors associated with offending

Appendix B : UN Guidelines on Crime Prevention