TCC - The CREST Community

CRUK - December 2016

TCC (The Crest Community) has formed a new group on LinkedIn. CRUK (Crime Reduction UK) is a forum where people who have a strong interest in crime reduction can meet to share information, insights and ideas about how to reduce crime.

A prime driver of the group arises through the apparent confusion between crime prevention and crime reduction, with more attention on the former than the latter. The former works on the assumption that there are and will be ‘criminals out there’ and is concerned with making it more difficult for them to commit crime. Its attention is on the artifacts of society. The latter is concerned with reducing the number of criminals, by addressing the underlying drivers and enablers of criminal behaviour. Its attention is on people and networks in society - the community of people.

While crime prevention is important and plays a crucial role in enhancing community life, it carries the risk of displacement by type of crime or location. It is only crime reduction that offers the prospect of significantly reducing the social and economic cost of crime. For more on this topic, please click here to download a PDF document CR vs. CP.

For more information on the TCC principals, please visit the Founders page.

Crime Reduction UK - outline

Despite many interventions over decades, crime in the UK remains stubbornly high. The vast majority of these interventions have involved changes to formal structures and processes for delivering local services and managing crime, along with changes in budget arrangements.

Between 1997 and 2015 there were 59 such changes all targeting the achievement of ‘joined up local government’, (source Institute for Government, 2016) but the problem persists. The social and economic damage caused by crime remains high, but the costs associated with crime are largely unknown because they are incurred by society, and are not met by the agencies attempting to tackle their individual parts of the problem.

A thesis central to the Crime Reduction UK (CRUK) group is that such formal, structural changes will never make any serious dent in the level of crime. Crime reduction is a ‘wicked problem’ (one with multiple causes and effects elsewhere) so something different is needed.

The CRUK group has been created for anyone involved in or concerned with reducing the social and economic costs of crime, and who is passionate about the need to change the underlying system. It is for people who understand the need to consider the whole system, and to think the unthinkable and say the unsayable; for people who understand the need to challenge conventional wisdom; for anyone who wishes to contribute to the exploration of new thinking about crime reduction; for people who wish to engage in the sharing of experience and insights into the nature of the challenge and ideas on how to solve it.

If you believe that you can add value to the development of new delivery systems for local services, please join. Either as someone who can bring new ideas to the discussion, or act as a critical friend in respect of those ideas already tabled, you will be welcome. If you care about creating opportunities for improving the quality of life in local communities, please join.

You can visit the Crime Reduction UK group here.

To join the group please click here:

February 2016

Joining up public services

The Institute for Government has published an interesting interactive timeline depicting many different initiatives from 1997 to 2015, all designed to improve the way that public services collaborate.


Click the thumbnail for a larger image

‘Attempts to join up public services’ illustrates a central TCC belief - that formal, structural changes can not deliver excellent public services.  In spite of all the changes shown in the IfG time line, all involving upheavals of various types, and all requiring the expenditure of serious sums of public money, the problem remains.  High profile failures in public services point to this fact.

The new TCC service delivery model provides a radically different model for service delivery that eliminates the need for structural changes - the provision of ‘joined up services’ is a fundamental part of the platform of the TCC model - integration is embedded in the TCC system design.

November 2015

A different way ...

TCC members have been thinking hard about how to escape from what appears to be a vicious circle for many local agencies. The circle comprises ever-reducing resources with an ever-increasing demand for services.

It is a cliche but there is a need to do (achieve) more with less.  Further, the 'more' needs to be focused on improving the lot of people in local communities (outcomes), and not over-focused on improving input measures  imposed by those outside the service.

Our review of a wide variety of research has led us to the following conclusions:

  1. Formal structures and processes, and the changes associated with them, add little value to service quality. The reality is that the best  performance that could ever be achieved through this route to designing services is a level of mediocrity - at best.
  2. In fact, it is possible that some of these structural and process changes actually damage service quality. A reality that we have to face is that some of these changes are initiated from outside local agencies.
  3. Another pointer is that fragmented service delivery, targets and standards and 'one-size-fits-all' procedures are all of doubtful value. Again, it appears that these often cause more problems than they solve.
  4. By contrast, the key to achieving better outcomes for communities appears to be how individual practitioners build one-to-one relationships in local communities, both with their clients and other members of local  communities. In terms of producing better results, it is the strong ties between practitioners and clients and other people in the local  community are most important.
  5. These can only be developed on the basis of mutual trust and mutual problem-solving. This focus must also be mirrored in the relationships between practitioners and their managers.

These conclusions are rather challenging to current management practices. Nevertheless, having reviewed them this month with one set of local agencies, there was general agreement that the logic in the case presented was valid. We are currently following up with them.

The next step is to do some highly focused research in the same group of agencies, to determine the answer to three key questions:

  1. To what degree do the general pointers from the research apply in today's real-world conditions on the ground?
  2. Assuming that the general conclusions are appropriate in the specific case, what would a new system for service delivery look like?
  3. To what degree would a new system of service delivery help to improve outcomes in the community at the same time as helping to reduce costs?

Watch this space for unfolding insights and actions!

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