The Crime Prevention Website

Evidence is emerging that the police budget cut-backs are taking their toll on the police provision of crime prevention advice.

Since launching my website in 2012 I’ve been asking Home Security Survey respondents* to rate the helpfulness of police in respect to offering crime prevention advice.

Just after launch, 54.2% of respondents were aware that they could get advice from the police.  At the time I considered this to be quite a low figure since most police forces were employing Crime Prevention Officers (CPOs) and there was quite a lot of crime prevention advice on the police websites.

However, within a couple of years police budget cuts had forced police services to greatly reduce the numbers of CPOs and some, including the Metropolitan Police, had dispensed with the service altogether. So by 2015 I wasn’t surprised to see that the awareness figure had dropped to 49.5%. The figure continued to fall and in 2016 it was standing at 48.6%

This year a large number of police services closed down their old websites and instead started using a new national police website platform (to save money I presume). That’s why a lot of them now look pretty similar to each other. The amount of information on these new websites has been reduced; particularly the advice for crime prevention, so again it’s not surprising that the awareness figure has again fallen, this time down to 47.1%. Notice too how the annual fall in awareness is pretty much consistent; about 1.4 percent per year. If this continues then the public's expectation of getting advice from the police will have fallen to below 33% within ten years. 

Year measurement taken (1st August)

Percentage of those aware that police give crime prevention advice













Survey sample = 6,800

Average fall per year = 1.4%


My other concern is that the 'helpfulness' of police advice is falling at the same time. In other words, when the public do go to a police website or speak to the police service about Home Security, for example, their satisfaction with the advice they are given is also falling; by 14% over five years.

We hear a lot from government telling us that the police can do more with less so long as they become more efficient, but this is complete nonsense, of course, and it is now absolutely clear that crime prevention is suffering.

There’s nothing I can do about this except to continue highlighting the problems being caused by reduced police funding and to keep on operating my website.

I sincerely hope that we don’t go down the same road as the Dutch police who simply don’t do a lot of crime prevention work these days and have instead handed that traditional police service over to the local authorities.   

*Over 6,800 people have completed the Home Security Survey and so the measurements are statistically significant.  


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