Promoting safety and preventing crime through a setting-oriented approach requires a structured procedure for planning the various activities to be carried out. The procedure involves mobilizing the population and intersectoral partners, making safety diagnoses and drawing up action plans. The Safety Diagnosis Tool Kit for Local Communities was prepared to assist with this procedure. It comprises several tools, including the Safety Diagnosis Handbook and six methodology guides. The document Turning Safety Diagnoses Into Action Plans: A Guide for Local Communities was prepared in addition to the tool kit, to facilitate the process of translating diagnoses into effective action plans.
To make sound decisions as to what should be done to improve safety and prevent crime in a particular life setting, it is useful to have access to a safety diagnosis for the setting concerned. A rigorous safety diagnosis will enable you to identify the problems and the social and physical conditions that are likely to have an impact on the setting’s safety. This information will help the various stakeholders choose appropriate preventive action.
Several questions immediately come to mind as to what should be done to gain a good grasp of the safety issues and problems in a particular life setting. Where do you start? What do you look for? Where do you find the information you need? How do you gather, process and analyze it? And lastly, how do you draw up a list of problems that all stakeholders will agree on? The Safety Diagnosis Tool Kit for Local Communities strives to answer these questions. Essentially, it aims to provide local communities with the tools they need to apply a structured procedure for defining the safety situation in a life setting as objectively as possible without getting bogged down in too much information.
The Safety Diagnosis Handbook is the centrepiece of the tool kit. It is designed to assist with the process of making safety diagnoses, from the preliminary stages to the final report. It also provides guidelines for processing, analyzing and summarizing information that can be used to take stock of safety in a life setting.
The tool kit is designed for easy use so that communities can conduct safety diagnoses with maximum autonomy. Special attention has been paid to the tools themselves to make them as user friendly as possible. However, certain activities may require the input of people with special expertise. Perhaps some of your partners will have the necessary expertise and be able to help with certain aspects of the data collection, processing and analysis phases. If not, you may have to ask resource people from universities, public health directorates or other organizations likely to support your activities if they will play a partnership role in your safety diagnosis project.