Bringing the Crime Victim into Community Policing

Community policing emphasizes the importance of partnerships and problem solving. However, typically partnerships and problem solving do not involve victims of crime. Recognizing the potential for crime victims to strengthen crime prevention and problem solving efforts in community policing, this project sought to develop models for integrating crime victims and victims’ organizations into community policing activities. Project activities included: (1) establishing a baseline of current practices regarding the involvement of victims and victims’ organizations in community policing; and (2) identifying promising policies and practices involving victims and victims’ organizations in crime prevention and problem-solving efforts in community policing.

To illustrate the role that victims and victim organizations can play, we developed a set of tools designed to help police organizations prevent repeat victimization and respond effectively to victims of crime. The model policy on preventing repeat victimization provides a blueprint for how police organizations could begin to integrate the prevention of repeat victimization into general operations. The guide to first response recommends a collaborative problem-solving approach between police and victims, and then illustrates how that approach can be used in response to domestic violence, residential burglary, and automobile theft.

Bringing Victims into Community Policing