What Works to Reduce Crime?: A Summary of the Evidence

The review examines the research evidence on what works to reduce crime. It focuses on three key strategies: 1)targeting the underlying causes of crime 2)deterring potential offenders by ensuring that the cost of offending is greater than the benefits and 3)increasing the difficulty of offending by reducing opportunities to commit crime.


We are very grateful for the advice that we received from academic colleagues in the early stages of preparing this review. Professor Susan McVie, Professor Nick Fyfe and Dr Alistair Henry provided invaluable support in summarising the key messages from their reading of the literature on (respectively) addressing the underlying causes of crime, deterring offending and reducing the opportunities to offend. Professor Fergus McNeill and Professor Michele Burman were also enormously helpful in directing us towards relevant literature and providing comments on our emerging conclusions.

The literature on the impact of diversionary recreational opportunities was reviewed by Emma Davidson during her PhD internship with the Scottish Government and we are very grateful to her for this important contribution.


Email: Social Research

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