England is a pretty safe country compared to dangerous ones (El Salvador, Venezuela, Colombia). It’s proven that when people focus on placemaking (no litter, planting trees), crime rates go down, as people feel a sense of belonging. Towns not obsessed with consumerism are less likely to loot designer trainers or flatscreen TVs.
Ask your council to employ a designing out crime officer (they use knowledge to drastically reduce opportunistic crimes). Also read We Keep Us Safe (address crime, without kneejerk reactions) and find tips to prevent cyber crime.
For personal safety, keep a non-emergency number of your police station in your phone, and report crimes anonymously at Crimestopper. Find help at Victim Support (also see how to help stop domestic abuse).
Prison reform is not ‘soft on crime’, it just means teaching inmates to make something of their lives for when they are released. Help by donating positive books or offering yoga classes. One German who spent decades in a US prison wrote two award-winning books on prison reform: The Church of the Second Chance and One Day in the Life of 179212.
Restorative justice is based on Native American circle traditions, where victims meet with criminals (not always the same ones) to talk through the effects. The re-offending rate for juveniles is almost zero).
Hope into Action was inspired by meeting a newly-released prisoner, drinking on a bench with nowhere to go. Churches invest in property that is rented out at low cost to help ex-prisoners, addicts, former prostitutes (and those fleeing abuse) get lives back on track.
Most people in England do not support the death penalty (it’s not a deterrent judging by US states that carry it out – Texas a higher murder rate than liberal northeastern states). Many people on jury service would not send a person to their death, so it could cause guilty people to go free. One US ex-executioner wrote a book asking why those who support the death penalty sleep well – leaving him to live with nightmares.
Nearly all serial killers have a history of animal abuse. When one campaigner was asked why he focused on animal welfare, he replied ‘I am working at the roots’. Karen Dawn writes that ‘compassion is not a pie’. If you love rhinos, you can still love babies. Animals & Society Institute offers probation manuals (including for children) to help prevent animal abuse.
Retributive theory believes that pain will vindicate. Restorative justice makes an active effort to encourage offenders to make right the wrongs, and address the cause of their behaviour. And the potential to help them transform their lives. Howard Zehr