Community and Crime

  • David Smith
Part of the Practical Social Work book series (PSWS)


The aims of this chapter are to explore the factors which make particular neighbourhoods vulnerable to high levels of crime and victimisation, to describe a range of approaches to crime prevention, and to argue that this is a valid and perhaps essential field of activity for social work agencies concerned with crime and its effects. It will stress the difficulty and complexity of crime prevention, and how this reflects the difficulty and complexity of life on the estates where crime problems are most extreme. There is nothing to be gained from denial of these difficulties. If social workers are to use the opportunities crime prevention presents for creative and committed practice, their approach needs to be critical, empirically informed and realistic. In particular, they need to raise a quizzical eyebrow at every mention of the term ‘community’.


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Copyright information

© British Association of Social Workers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Smith

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