Policy paper

2010 to 2015 government policy: crime prevention

Updated 8 May 2015

This is a copy of a document that stated a policy of the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government. The previous URL of this page was https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/reducing-and-preventing-crime–2. Current policies can be found at the GOV.UK policies list.


Any amount of crime in society is unacceptable. Not just because of the human cost, but also the cost to society.


We have a new approach to fighting crime that involves a shift of power from Whitehall to local communities. The police will be given far greater freedom to do their jobs, and the public more power to hold them to account.

We will judge our success on whether crime has fallen.

We’re reducing crime by:

  • creating community triggers to deal with persistent antisocial behaviour
  • using community safety partnerships and police and crime commissioners, to work out local approaches to deal with issues, including antisocial behaviour, drug or alcohol misuse and re-offending
  • establishing the national referral mechanism to make it easier for all the different agencies that could be involved in a trafficking case to cooperate, share information about potential victims and get access to advice, accommodation and support
  • producing a new serious and organised crime strategy
  • creating street-level crime maps to give the public up-to-date, accurate information on what is happening on their streets so they can challenge the police on performance

And we’re trying to prevent crime by:


Our new approach to fighting crime is informed by, among others, the following:

Bills and legislation

The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act received royal assent in March 2014.

The act has introduced simpler, more effective powers to tackle anti-social behaviour and better protection for victims and communities, including :

  • tackling the use of illegal firearms by gangs and organised criminal groups
  • stopping irresponsible dog ownership
  • strengthening the protection afforded to the victims of forced marriage and those at risk of sexual harm
  • amending the port and border security powers in Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000

Appendix 1: football banning orders

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

Football banning orders are a preventative measure designed to stop potential troublemakers from travelling to football matches - both at home and abroad.

How football banning orders work

Banning orders are issued by the courts following a conviction for a football-related offence, or after a complaint by the Crown Prosecution Service or a local police force. For an order to be issued, it must be proved that the accused person has caused or contributed to football-related violence or disorder and that an order will prevent them from misbehaving further.

Orders are not imposed on people solely on the basis of minor convictions, like alcohol offences or similar misdemeanours. They can last between 3 and 10 years and can be customised to address individual behaviour patterns. Breach of an order is a criminal offence and is punishable by a maximum sentence of 6 months in prison.

Statistics on arrests and banning orders

Each autumn we publish statistics on the number of arrests and banning orders issued during the previous football season.

Appendix 2: child sex offender disclosure scheme

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

The child sex offender disclosure scheme allows parents, carers and guardians to formally ask the police to tell them if someone, with access to a child, has a record for child sexual offences. The scheme operates across England and Wales.

Background to the scheme

The majority of child sex offenders are known to their victims. They are often a member of the family, a friend of the victim, or a friend of the victim’s family. Only 20% of child sex offences are carried out by strangers.

Launched in 2008, the Home Office developed the child sex offender disclosure scheme in consultation with Sara Payne, the former victims’ champion, along with the police, and children’s charities.

The pilot was independently evaluated, and the evaluation report is available.

Scheme information

We have produced a child sex offender disclosure scheme guidance document and appendices for the police. There’s also a communications pack to help police raise awareness and understanding of the child sex offender disclosure scheme. The guidance, posters and booklets can be downloaded for more information.

Appendix 3: serious and organised crime

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

Serious and organised crime is a threat to our national security. It costs the UK at least £24 billion each year. It includes drugs trafficking, human trafficking, organised illegal immigration, high value fraud, counterfeiting, organised acquisitive crimes and cyber crime.

Police and law enforcement agencies estimate that there are around 5,500 organised crime groups operating against the UK, involving around 37,000 individuals.

Our new serious and organised crime strategy is based around 4 areas of work:

  • pursue: prosecuting and disrupting people engaged in serious and organised crime
  • prevent: preventing people from engaging in this activity
  • protect: increasing protection against serious and organised crime
  • prepare: reducing the impact of serious and organised crime

The immediate priority is to prosecute and relentlessly disrupt organised criminals to reduce the threat they pose.

The National Security Council will have oversight of the new strategy. The Home Office will publish an annual report on progress.

What we’ve done:

  • launched a new strategy to relentlessly disrupt serious and organised criminals

  • created the National Crime Agency, a powerful body of crime fighters, to lead the UK’s fight to cut serious and organised crime
  • provided additional funding to support the development of specialist police capabilities in Regional Organised Crime Units

What we’ll do:

We will:

  • create new powers to attack criminal assets and groups, and fight modern slavery
  • ensure new local organised crime partnership boards bring all available powers to bear against organised crime
  • take more immigration enforcement action against foreign serious and organised criminals in, or travelling to, the UK
  • restructure our overseas crime-fighting network to deal with all types of serious and organised crime that now fall to the National Crime Agency, including child sexual exploitation
  • create a new programme to stop people getting involved in serious and organised crime and raise awareness of the reality of serious and organised crime and the consequences for offenders
  • better manage career criminals and the threat they pose before and after conviction, including during their prison sentence
  • ensure that reorganised border responsibilities and major programmes lead to improved intelligence sharing and collaboration, including between networks dealing with counter-terrorism and organised crime
  • improve our anti-corruption response, including by introducing new systems for reporting corruption and lead and coordinate work to investigate corruption in the UK
  • establish the new computer emergency response team that will ensure we are prepared for a major cyber attack
  • develop a national programme to exercise and test the capabilities of our law enforcement agencies and other partners
  • ensure that victims, witnesses and communities affected by serious and organised crime receive more effective support, including through a new victim’s code and witness charter, and the establishment of a new UK Protected Persons Service, which will overhaul our current witness protection arrangements

Appendix 4: community safety partnerships

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

Community safety partnerships (CSPs) are made up of representatives from the ‘responsible authorities’, which are the:

  • police
  • local authorities
  • fire and rescue authorities
  • probation service
  • health

The responsible authorities work together to protect their local communities from crime and to help people feel safer. They work out how to deal with local issues like antisocial behaviour, drug or alcohol misuse and reoffending. They annually assess local crime priorities and consult partners and the local community about how to deal with them.

CSPs were set up under Sections 5-7 of the Crime & Disorder Act 1998. There are about 300 CSPs in England and 22 in Wales.

Working with police and crime commissioners

Community safety partnerships and police and crime commissioners (PCCs) will work together by:

  • CSPs sending their annual community safety plan and strategy to their local PCC
  • 1 or more CSPs attending PCC meetings
  • CSPs submitting any merger requests to their PCC (but the PCC cannot impose mergers)
  • the PCC asking for reports from CSPs on specific issues

Appendix 5: antisocial behaviour

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

Antisocial behaviour is any aggressive, intimidating or destructive activity that damages or destroys another person’s quality of life. Community triggers will make it easier for victims and communities to get this behaviour stopped.

The community trigger

The community trigger will give victims and communities the right to demand that persistent antisocial behaviour is dealt with. It is a new provision in the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act which received Royal Assent in March 2014.

We have trialled the community trigger with 4 areas to test it and ensure that it could help those victims who need it most. Trial areas designed the procedure in their area to suit the needs of their local communities. Trials started on 1 June 2012 in Manchester, Brighton and Hove, West Lindsey and Boston (Lincolnshire), with a further trial starting in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames on 17 August 2012.

Our summary report highlights the lessons identified by the trial areas and is intended to be used by government agencies when setting up their own community trigger procedures.

Read the reports from the trial areas

Each area has assessed their community trigger trials and their reports are published on their respective websites. Their reports include a description of each community trigger received and how agencies responded.

The community remedy

The community remedy consultation response

The community remedy will include a range of sanctions against antisocial behaviour and low-level crime. These sanctions will be drawn up in consultation with the local community and agreed between the police and crime commissioner and the chief constable. We will use community remedies for low level crimes and antisocial behaviours that were dealt with out of court - either as part of an informal community resolution or a more formal conditional caution. It will mean that victims get justice quickly, and the offender has to face the consequences of their actions.

We ran a consultation on the community remedy from 13 December 2012 to 7 March 2013 to gather opinions of policing and criminal justice stakeholders, and the public. We wanted to ensure that the final policy takes account of the potential impact of the changes on all affected parties. We received over 600 responses. The community remedy consultation response provides a summary of the responses.

Putting victims first

We will work with police and crime commissioners to reduce antisocial behaviour in communities.

The white paper Putting victims first - more effective responses to anti-social behaviour sets out our plans to introduce more effective measures to deal with antisocial behaviour.

Appendix 6: hate crime

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

Hate crime involves any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a personal characteristic. Hate crime can be motivated by disability, gender identity, race, religion or faith and sexual orientation.

Hate crime action plan: Challenge it, report it, stop it

Challenge it, report it, stop it is our plan to address hate crime, by working with local agencies, voluntary organisations and our independent advisory group to meet 3 objectives:

  • preventing hate crime by challenging the attitudes and behaviours that foster hatred, and encouraging early intervention to reduce the risk of incidents escalating
  • increasing the reporting of hate crime by building victims’ confidence to come forward and seek justice, and working with local and national organisations to make sure the right support is available when they do
  • working with the agencies that make up the criminal justice system to improve the way they respond to hate crime

Bills and legislation

Legislation has been in place for a number of years to protect victims from such hate crimes, including offences for those who intend to stir up racial hatred, commit racially and religiously aggravated offences or engage in racist chanting at football matches.

We have also introduced new criminal offences and enhanced sentences in recent years to reflect the seriousness of hate crime. These include enhanced sentencing and stirring up hatred towards other groups on the grounds of religion and sexual orientation.

Hate crime statistics

In October 2014, the Home Office, Ministry of Justice and the Office for National Statistics published ‘Hate Crimes, England and Wales 2013 to 2014’.

The data covers police-recorded hate crime, which shows that over 2013 to 2014, 44,480 hate crimes were recorded by the police, an increase of 5% compared with 2012 to 13, of which:

  • 37,484 (84%) were race hate crimes
  • 4,622 (10%) were sexual orientation hate crimes
  • 2,273 (5%) were religion hate crimes
  • 1,985 (4%) were disability hate crimes
  • 555 (1%) were transgender hate crimes

It is possible for one hate crime offence to have more than one motivating factor which is why the above numbers sum to more than 44,480 and 100%.

There were increases in all 5 of the monitored hate crime strands (race, religion, sexual orientation, disability and transgender identity) between 2012 to 13 and 2013 to 14.

Findings from the combined Crime Survey for England and Wales for 2011 to 2012 and for 2012 to 2013 estimate that there were 278,000 incidents of hate crime on average each year. Around 40% of these incidents came to the attention of the police.

We know that hate crimes are under-reported and we want to encourage more people to come forward to report hate crime.

International action on hate crime

We are also working with a range of organisations, including the United Nations, the European Union and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to share our experience, ideas and good practice.

Appendix 7: human trafficking

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

Human trafficking is an abuse of basic rights, with organised criminals preying on vulnerable people to make money. In most cases, victims are brought to the UK from abroad, but we know that trafficking also occurs within the UK and that children are increasingly vulnerable to falling victim to exploitation.

Ministerial group on human trafficking

The ministerial group is responsible for:

  • assessing trends in human trafficking
  • coordinating and measuring results of anti-trafficking actions
  • reporting to Parliament

Read the group’s publications.

See the group’s minutes.

National referral mechanism for victims of trafficking

The national referral mechanism (NRM) is a victim identification and support process. It is designed to make it easier for all the main agencies to work together and share information. This includes the police, Border Force, Gangmasters Licensing Authority, local authorities and non-governmental organisations, for example, the Salvation Army and Poppy Project.

We produce adult and child referral form and guidance notes for the agencies who want to make a referral about a victim of trafficking.

We have published guidance for child first responders.

Completed forms should be sent to the UK Human Trafficking Centre by email at UKHTC@soca.x.gsi.gov.uk or by fax to 0870 496 5534.

Members of the public can’t make a referral directly.

Human trafficking strategy and legislation

Our 2011 strategy explains how we will try to prevent human trafficking and improve care for adult victims at home. We conducted a review of human trafficking legislation in June 2012.

Safeguarding children who may have been trafficked

Safeguarding children who may have been trafficked is updated guidance that provides agencies with information about child trafficking. We produced the guidance to raise awareness and help make sure agencies are equipped to help victims of this crime.

It also provides details of national agencies and areas of local effective practice that can provide support. Also read, Working Together to Safeguard Children, which sets out how organisations and individuals should work together to protect children and young people.

More information

Human trafficking practical guidance is available.