Title: Community crime prevention: addressing background and foreground causes of criminal behavior

Citation: Ward, M. Carolyn. (1997). Journal of Criminal Justice, 25 (1), 1-18.

Keywords: Crime Prevention, Urban Crime, Evaluative Studies

A case study of the inner-city neighborhood of Hyde Park (St. Louis Missouri) advances the hypothesis that comprehensive community crime prevention programs, initiated with a partnership with city and other outside entities, offers the best solution to alleviate criminal behavior. The data were collected over a 1-year period from: observation of approximately 132 community and organizational meetings and activities; biweekly rides with the Hyde Park Mobile Patrol; police, school and public archival records; informal daily interviews; 16 formal interviews; 6 focus group sessions; and other sources. From the case study support emerged for the hypothesis. Hyde Park’s comprehensive crime approach addressed both background (social malaise) and foreground (opportunity) causes of criminal behavior. The Friedens Haus (house of peace) coalition of school, church, private social service while the Hyde Park Safety Committee initiated deterrent measures with its mobile patrol component. Utilizing a trend analyses of crime frequencies in 4 demographically similar communities strongly suggested that the initiatives implemented in Hyde Park had curtailed at least 1 type of crime, robbery.