The Evolution From a Prevention Policy to a Security Policy in Western Europe in the Nineties

Patrick Hebberecht, Ghent University

In this contribution the security policy of the nineties in different countries of Western Europe is compared. The eighties were characterised by two different models of crime prevention : a techno- and situational prevention model in northern Europe and a more social prevention model in France and Barcelona (Spain). Since the nineties the techno- and situational prevention policy became a part of a broader security policy in northern Europe. This prevention policy is now oriented towards an actuarial management of crime risks. A second component of the security policies in the 90's is an urban and social policy, often with communautarian characteristics. A more populist police policy ('zero tolerance') and penal system policy ('prison works') is a third component. This new security policy as it was developed in northern Europe becomes also more and more prominent in southern Europe. The first component of this security policy is more stressed by neo-liberals, the second by social democrats and the third by conservatives and the extreme-right.

(Return to Program Resources)

Updated 05/20/2006