Crime prevention: Facts, fallacies and the future, by Henry Shaftoe, April 2005

A thought-provoking book by Henry Shaftoe


Much of the debate about how to prevent crime feeds off misinformation, moral panics and retributional rage. This book aims to introduce some cool pragmatism into the debate, without shying away from the broader moral, ethical and value based issues that make crime such a complex yet fascinating social phenomenon. In the last few decades a huge amount of research and experimental practice has been undertaken in the field of crime control. One of the over-arching conclusions that can be deduced from all this work is that the prevention of crime requires the engagement of a whole range of actors, not just those employed by the police and the other sections of the criminal justice system. This book will indicate the key role to be played in the prevention of crime by such apparently unlikely professions as: housing managers, planners, teachers, youth workers, social workers, community development officers and health visitors, and equally importantly, by citizens.

Internationally, hundreds of academic papers and Government sponsored reports on crime prevention have been published in recent years. This book distils and comments on the most significant of this welter of information, to produce a plain speaking digest of the facts, fallacies, failures and future prospects in crime prevention.

It gives an overview of the successes and failures of the policies adopted by countries like the UK, USA, France and Japan, and looks in detail at a variety of topics including:           

deviance and the individual offender crime and the environment crime prevention policies, models and frameworks social and situational prevention crime and the media drugs and crime exclusion versus inclusion the future of crime prevention

Accessibly written and introducing a wide range of theories and issues from both academic literature and field-based research, Crime Prevention – facts fallacies and the future provides a balanced and wide-ranging account for students and practitioners who want to be better informed about crime prevention and urban security.


Henry Shaftoe is a senior lecturer and researcher in community safety and crime prevention at the University of the West of England, Bristol.  He is co-director of the Community Safety and Crime Prevention Open Learning Programme at the University of the West of England, an international distance learning course with over 150 students worldwide. He has also worked as a consultant with the Safe Neighbourhoods Unit (a national not-for-profit organisation) and undertakes research into many aspects of crime prevention and urban security. With a background in social work, community development and architectural design, he is a proponent of the importance of integrating social and environmental factors in any strategy to create safer communities. This is reflected in the wide range of publications he has contributed to, from a schoolteacher’s curriculum pack (Safe for Life, Nelson), to a handbook of security detailing (Design for Secure Residential Environments, Longman). He has carried out work for the European Commission and Government departments in Britain and France and is an expert on comparative approaches to urban security in European countries.