Die Kriminalprävention im System der Kriminalitätskontrolle.
Societies all over the world suffer from crime and feelings of insecurity, but some nations seem to have developed more successful strategies against crime than others. Lower crime rates are registered, for example, in Japan, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands. The USA with a very high level in the past decades show declining figures since about 1990 as to many kinds of offences. Various explanations are given: low birth rates in the past lead to smaller numbers of juveniles (14-24 years) today. A good economic situation results in a low unemployment rate. In addition to this policy, a severally suffering population was requested to intervene on all levels. As a result, law enforcement has been reinforced (thousands of additional police officers, 200 newly built prisons: highest rate of prisoners in the world, 1.7 million persons in jail). But crime prevention activities have been intensified as well on a broad scale in all the federal states and all the towns in the USA serving as world-wide models for good practice (e.g. pre-school programmes, community policing). Regarding the situation of crime prevention in Germany, we notice a gap in the development between 1965 and the nineties. Very modern ideas were presented already in 1965 by the police but not put to practice before 1990 when the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein (bordering Denmark) founded the first Crime Prevention Council. This institution with four ministers in the managing board is supported by the Ministry of the Interior. Its main task besides counselling policy is to initiate and promote crime prevention on the local level; up to now, fifty crime prevention councils have been founded in towns and smaller communities resulting in a lot of local projects covering many target groups and in stimulating similar activities in numerous fields. Schleswig-Holstein seems to be on the right track, and other federal states have followed this example with hundreds of local crime prevention councils in Germany now producing ideas, planning, realising and evaluating projects and so improving the local crime situation as well as the feeling of security.
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