The term ‘community safety’ is now widely used by academics, police officers, politicians, local authority officers and others involved in localised action against crime.
Community safety is a complex and multifaceted concept which can be difficult to define. It is often used as a generic, all encompassing phrase to mean 'crime prevention' or 'crime reduction'.
The Home Office defines community safety as:
'An aspect of quality of life in which people, individually and collectively, are protected as far as possible form hazards or threats that result from the criminal or anti-social behaviour of others and are equipped or helped to cope with those they do experience' (source: Community Safety Advisory Service, Community Safety and Crime Reduction, 2007)
In the borough of Basingstoke and Deane we understand community safety as developing sustainable communities where crime and the fear of crime are reduced. Early action is taken on an interagency basis to prevent and resolve behaviour or situations which put individuals and families, communities and organisations, and anyone who lives, works or plays in the borough at risk.
Community safety is not the sole responsibility of Local Authorities and their partnership agencies. In order to ensure that Basingstoke and Deane remains a safe place, communities have a role to work together with us to improve their area and make it a pleasant place to live.
"Community safety should be seen as the legitimate concern for all in the local community" (Safer Communities, Home Office 1991)