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ISEC Programme 2009 Action Grants



Applied: 31 July 2009

(36 months duration from 15 December 2010 to 14 December 2013)




- to stimulate, promote and develop horizontal methods and tools necessary for strategically preventing and fighting crime and guaranteeing security and public order

- to promote and develop coordination, cooperation and mutual understanding among law enforcement agencies, other national authorities and related Union bodies



- crime prevention and criminology

- law enforcement



- prevention of crime through horizontal approaches



- operational cooperation and coordination

- analytical, monitoring and evaluation activities

- development and transfer of technology and methodology

- awareness and dissemination activities

- development and creation of network





- the concept was developed through an evaluation of a Ph.D spatio-temporal research (Formosa, 2007) on crime in Malta (environmental criminology) reviewing the theory of social disorganisation, as based on the concept of human urban ecology (MAGUIRE et al, 1997; 308)

- urban ecology posits that there is a positive correlation between crime, social issues and landuse (ENTORF et al (2000) Such studies emphasise the vitality of social landscapes and how they impinge on or are impacted by the physical landscapes 

- opportunity Theory which studies the way urban structures and landscapes offer opportunities for crime (FELSON and CLARK, 1998)

- routine Activities Theory which postulates that each offender and victim follow repeatable paths or routines that are delineated by the space they live in over time (EKBLOM, 2001)

- each fits in with environmental criminology theory in that the fundamental issue at stake is space. Urban planning clusters offence targets in specific areas, through increasing or reducing accessibility for opportunities. As against opportunities in rural areas where a person is more conspicuous, urban areas become attractive to offenders especially where an area becomes prosperous (ENTORF et al, 2000)

- criminological research into the physical landscape enables researchers to analyse and evaluate the areas under study, identify those characteristics that yield criminal activity and help to predict future criminal activities. In turn the analysis of the social interactionism in an area enables successful implementation of crime preventive strategies (CHAINEY and RATCLIFFE, 2005; SCHNEIDER and KITCHEN, 2007)

- the preparatory work for this proposal has identifies the areas ripe for investigation in Malta and will employ the CRISOLA methodology in Malta and Sicily at NUTS3 level. The methodology, tools and analytical processes have been identified ready for project launch. Contacts with the case study authorities have established   




- this project is innovative as it takes a cross-thematic approach to crime-prevention strategies using high-end technologies and established analytical processes in order to understand the dynamics that influence/cause crime

- taking up environmental criminology practices at NUTS3 level is new to the European region as NUTS 5 and national rates are investigated

- bringing in the social and landuse partners and the agencies involved in mitigating crime will help identify the best practices that ensures legislative and operational changes to ensure a safer society

- the fact that two islands have been initially identified is based on the study of insularity and the cause/effect of crime on and by the social and urban structures, however the methodology can be employed at any EU regional levels as it creates a new method of analysis and relationship identification

- the project is also innovative as it employs triangulation between the different research and implementation parties



This project is based on different methodologies which build on each other’s results as follows:


a)     Part 1: Partners design survey, analyse data and produce report. Process entails:

- GI datacycle and desk-surveys

- review of legislation and operational entities

- country experts carry out fieldwork and partners analyse results

- creation of analytical tools and indicators

- workshop in the Sicily to discuss survey outcomes and propose proactive measures to tackle enhance crime-prevention


b)     Part 2: partners propose recommendations for effective monitoring and enforcement. Process entails:

- recommendations to upgrade legislation and practices

- indicators covering annual monitoring process to sustain project results

- network set-up based in Malta tasked with ensuring indicators maintenance


Detailed Objectives


- The project will review and assess existing information, legislation and operational activities and assess their impact and effectiveness in preventing crime

- The project aims to make specific recommendations at a NUTS3 level on the potential for reduction of crime through the use of the social and landuse parameters that are rarely tackled in policy-making at local or regional levels

- The project aims to create tools and aids such as GIS, datasets as well as a set of indicators for ongoing analytical processing

- In addition, the setting up of a network of experts will enable the sustaining of the project's outputs

- The results will enable analytical outputs and will eventually also enable impact assessments of policy changes emanating from the project recommendations

- The regional-targeted outputs will also enable other regions to compare results



Partners & Participants

University of Malta

Associazione Nazionale Famiglie Emigranti: Delegazione Regionale Sicilia

Associated Partner: Provincia Regionale di Trapani



Project Results: WPs

Output 1:  Legislative and operative review:

- the state of affairs of EU and National crime-prevention legislation (WP1)

- GI maps and spatial statistical outcomes (WP2)

- tools creation and launching (WP2)

- series of indicators relating to legislation and operations (WP3)


Output 2:  Endearing outcomes:

- a document on recommendations to tackle the future of NUTS3-level crime prevention strategies in Europe that identifies future directions for legislation and on the operational

processes required to set up effective crime-social-landuse change. This will include required changes to modify/upgrade the existing legislation in order to mitigate effective change  (WP3)

- an indicator document listing the annual monitoring process required to sustain the results of this project  (WP3)

- the setting up of the network  (WP4)

- the publication of the project outputs on the website and in CD format  (WP5)



Deliverables: Work Packages



- A policy-oriented document based on proposals for crime-prevention changes in legislative, policy and operational procedures, at NUTS3 level

- An assessment of the diversity of the existing legislation and of operational entities in fighting crime and identifying its social and landuse correlations


- A spatial information system on crime, social and landuse parameters

- Visual and analytical data aids, mapping tool and information bases


- Identification of examples of best practice on crime-prevention

- The development of a series of metadata and indicators on crime-prevention


- Setting up of a NUTS3 regions crime-prevention network to maintain the research


- Creation of interactive cd, website, webmaps, newsletters, academic publications





Last Updated: 24 September 2013

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