Community Safety and Crime Prevention Partnerships: Challenges and Opportunities


In many jurisdictions around the world, community safety and crime prevention activity is supported by interagency committees. In the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW), local government Community Safety Officers (CSOs) lead, support or participate in a range of interagency and ‘whole of government’ networks, most of which were established to support central NSW state government crime prevention and community safety initiatives. Research was conducted with the aim of exploring the CSOs’ experience of the ‘whole of government’ partnerships established to support community safety and crime prevention in NSW.[i] The findings support international research which suggests that central-local partnerships are inhibited by different agendas, responsibilities and power dynamics across different levels of government. Some of the key contextual challenges for this work include concerns about costs shifting from State to local government and about shifting State government priorities; barriers to funding and to accessing crime (and other) data; and various administrative burdens. Consequently, we argued that there is a need for formal engagement and negotiation between, on the one hand, State government agencies that steer NSW crime prevention and, on the other, community safety policy initiatives and local government. Such engagement could help overcome the perception, indeed the reality, that shifting and dumping costs and responsibilities to local government is creating a range of burdens for CSOs.

[i] The authors thank the NSW Local Government Community Safety and Crime Prevention Network and the individual local government CSOs who kindly assisted and contributed to this research.

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Published: 2014-04-02
Pages:107 to 120
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How to Cite
Sheperdson, P., Clancey, G., Lee, M. and Crofts, T. (2014) “Community Safety and Crime Prevention Partnerships: Challenges and Opportunities”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 3(1), pp. 107-120. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.v3i1.135.

Author Biographies

University of Sydney, Institute of Criminology
Research Assistant
Sydney Law School University of Sydney
Dr Garner Clancey is a Lecturer at the Sydney Law School (University of Sydney). Garner is also an Adjunct Lecturer in the School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Science (University of New England) and an Associate Member of the Applied Criminology Centre (University of Huddersfield).
The University of Sydney

Associate Professor in Criminology

Associate Professor Thomas Crofts is Director of the Sydney Institute of Criminology. He is a graduate of University College London (LL.B.), the Bayerische Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg, Germany (LL.M.) and the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt/O., Germany (Dr. iur.). Prior to Sydney University Associate Professor Crofts taught Law at Murdoch University (2000–2010), the European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder) (1995–1999) and the Bayerische Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg (1993–1995). He has held visiting appointments at the Universities of Sheffield, Nottingham, Birmingham and Western Australia.

His research in criminal law, criminology and criminal justice centres on criminalisation and criminal responsibility, exploring why and how behaviours are defined by, and governed through, criminal law. Within this broad field his interests are the criminal responsibility of, and for, children, comparative criminal law, criminal law reform and the relevance and role of labelling (particularly relating to homicide and sex work). He has published in English and German in these fields in national and international journals. In 2011 he was awarded the Australia and New Zealand Society of Criminology‘s inaugural Adam Sutton Crime Prevention Award. Currently, he is conducting research funded by the Australian Institute of Criminology into young people’s perceptions of ‘sexting’.

Associate Professor Crofts’ teaching interests are criminal law, criminology and criminal justice. At Sydney he teaches Criminology and Criminal Law. He has taught ‘Homicide’ in the LLM programme in Criminal Law & Criminal Justice at the University of Birmingham and in the Master of Criminal Justice Programme at the Crime Research Centre of the University of Western Australia (Criminology, Criminal Law and Public Policy; Administration of Sentences; and Theories of Punishment and Principles of Sentencing). Associate Professor Crofts has been awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Award from Teaching Excellence in 2002 and 2009.