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It is important to recognize that Crime Prevention is by definition the practice of preventing crime from occurring. Often, law enforcement is stuck with the mentality that "Our job is to catch the bad guy, and put him in jail." Think about it this way: if the crime is prevented, then it is not necessary to arrest anyone. Unfortunately, in an age that requires statistical fact, it is difficult to measure the number of crimes one has prevented. The only way one can effectively do this is to study the performance of Crime Prevention over a period of several years. If one can determine a noticeable drop in crime either through a noticeable change in UCR (Uniform Crime Reports) percentages, or through crime analysis conducted interdepartmentally, then one can be fairly certain that the crime rate has decreased. When one provides education and prevention programs to certain crime prone areas, and sees a decrease in crime in those areas, one can be fairly certain what to attribute that decrease to.
The recent increase in the scope, intensity and sophistication of crime around the world threatens the safety of citizens everywhere and hampers countries in their social, economic and cultural development. The dark side of globalization allows multinational criminal syndicates to broaden their range of operations from drug and arms trafficking to money laundering and trafficking in human beings.
The United Nations has acknowledged the importance of crime prevention and criminal justice since 1950, when it helped countries to set standards for fair and efficient criminal justice systems. Member States recognize that they must cooperate in order to counter international crime successfully.
Established in 1997, the Centre for International Crime Prevention (CICP) is the United Nations office responsible for crime prevention, criminal justice and criminal law reform. The CICP works with Member States to strengthen the rule of law, to promote stable and viable criminal justice systems and to combat the growing threats of transnational organized crime, corruption and trafficking in human beings. Since October 2002, the Centre for International Crime Prevention (CICP) has been renamed the UNODC Crime Programme.
The United Nations Crime and Justice Information Network provides a substantial database of www links to criminal justice related sites.
Criminal groups have established international networks to carry out their activities more effectively through sophisticated technology and by exploiting today's open borders. The Global Programme against Transnational Organized Crime maps the latest trends among organized criminal groups and highlights their potential worldwide danger so that preventive action can take place.
The UNODC Crime Programme is the United Nations office responsible for crime prevention, criminal justice and criminal law reform. It pays special attention to combating transnational organized crime, corruption and illicit trafficking in human beings. Nine resolutions relating to UNODC were adopted by the General Assembly at its 55th session.
The UNODC Crime Programme cooperates with a network of international and regional institutions, allowing for a more comprehensive approach and an exchange of expertise. UNODC works with Member States to strengthen the rule of law, promote stable and viable criminal justice systems and combat the growing threat of transnational organized crime through better cooperation.
The UNODC Crime Programme assists countries in the elaboration ratification and implementation of international criminal law Conventions and protocols, such as the recently adopted UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime..
The Crime Programme also defines and promotes internationally recognized principles in such areas as independence of the judiciary, protection of victims, alternatives to imprisonment, treatment of prisoners, police use of force, mutual legal assistance and extradition. More than 100 countries have relied on its criminal justice standards and norms for the elaboration of national legislation and policies in matters of crime prevention and criminal justice, leading to a common foundation in the fight against international crime that respects human rights.