Crime Prevention

A Dramatically Different Perspective

Two necessary approaches to crime prevention: raising children who don't need to hate, and marketing the pragmatic values of trust, empathy, affection and cooperation in the adult world.

The crime rate won't decrease if we increase the number of police officers," Lorrain Audy , Director of the Hull Police Force.

We need to have a focus on crime prevention that is really the opposite; that is, we need to focus on building a nation of citizens who can live co-operatively and affectionately with one another.

We should set ourselves in a concerted way to effect two changes: first, to see that each new child that's born is not the victim of social forces related to inadequate early nurturing (so that each child will develop the capacity for trusting and affectionate relationships). The relationship between early nurturing and crime prevention should be more widely understood.

Secondly, society must deliberately aim at rewarding and enhancing affectionate behaviour amongst its citizens.This could effectively be done by social marketing to shift social values toward enhancing the affection amongst us.

As an approach to crime prevention, that probably sounds like the visionary dream of an idealist. I think it's more visionary and idealistic to believe that crime prevention is possible without achieving these two objectives.

The present measures to control crime are going to be more and more necessary during the next fifteen years, though ever more obviously inadequate -- unless we immediately and vigorously begin to put in place programs that are aimed at the two objectives of which I have spoken: To nurture all new children adequately (at least during their first three years), and to shift our entire culture to one which aims at enhancing the affection amongst us.

These two initiatives will not only result in a progressive reduction in crime over the next 15 years, but build a nation of citizens free from the fear of crime, and living co-operatively and affectionately with one another.

With such a two pronged approach there is indeed reason for hope in the field of crime prevention.

Testimony to the Canadian Government's Committee on Crime Prevention by E.T. Barker M.D.

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Last updated June 11th, 1997