How to reduce crime in USA

Treat violence as a public health concern: We need to use campaigns and technology to reach every child and family in these countries. We need to develop those tools to make sure that everybody feels important and cared for through parenting interventions, family interventions, wellbeing campaigns, and early childhood education. Anilena Mejia, research fellow, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

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Localise programmes: During the 90s in Rio we had rates of homicide that would go beyond epidemic levels (over 100 per 100,000 citizens). It took a really costly but comprehensive programme in Brazil called Pronasci to tie up a lot of elements that were drivers of violence in the country, building local frameworks, gun-free zones and fostering civic culture to reduce violence, which has been the case in Bogotá, Medellín in Colombia and Santa Tecla in El Salvador. Natasha Leite de Moura, project adviser, public security programme, United Nations, Lima, Peru

Focus on hotspots: We’ve got scientific evidence that a focus on hotspots and ‘hot people’ can prevent or reduce violence. But we need also accompany this with other measures – urban upgrading, better urban planning, situational prevention – especially early childhood intervention. Robert Muggah, research director of Igarapé Institute, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the SecDev Foundation, Canada

Look at the whole picture: While people are aware that there are high levels of lethal violence in Brazil, this is often misrepresented by national and international media as a simple cops vs robbers dynamic – a misrepresentation that more often than not criminalises poverty. Much more work needs to be done on understanding the official and unofficial social, political and economic structures that sustain these high levels. Damian Platt, researcher, activist and author, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil