Twenty eight years ago a group assembled on the shores of Lake Couchiching, Ontario, 150 kilometers north of Toronto. They met to brainstorm new ways to prevent and analyze crime, deploy community police officers, and build safer cities.
The event was summarized in a book I authored, Crime Problems, Community Solutions - Environmental Criminology as a Developing Prevention Strategy. It was the beginning of SafeGrowth.
Next week a group of AARP representatives, community members, criminologists, planners, and others interested in crime, safety, and vital neighborhoods will gather in New Orleans to continue a journey started long ago. The New Orleans Summit and Search Conference is the first in the south/eastern U.S.
FIRST EVER SEARCH CONFERENCE
The Lake Couchiching event was the first-ever search conference in criminology, a method of community visioning and planning developed shortly after WW2. It set the stage for a different style of crime prevention based on the place and time of crime events - today called situational crime prevention.
The community and police representatives at the event thought cohesive neighborhoods also mattered a great deal. Thus was born the SafeGrowth philosophy of neighborhood planning.
Today SafeGrowth theory is a formal method of crime prevention. In the past few years we've had more Search Conference events, one in Canmore, Alberta and another in Sacramento, California, to expand the concept. The New Orleans conference is the latest.
Watch our SafeGrowth website for our latest ideas to more forward.