Assessing the impact of the Reducing Burglary Initiative in southern England and Wales

Millie, Andrew and Hough, Mike (2004). Assessing the impact of the Reducing Burglary Initiative in southern England and Wales. Home Office Online Report, 42/04. London, UK: The Home Office.




This report summarises findings about the impact of Reducing Burglary Initiative projects covered by the Southern Consortium. It considers what worked in reducing domestic burglary and aims to explain the factors underlying this success. The issues of whether interventions were theoretically robust, and how intensively they needed to be implemented in practice to achieve any impact are examined.

Projects tended to be more successful if the underlying theory of interventions was clearly thought through so that they complemented rather than contradicted each other. If this was the case, so-called ‘packages’ of interventions were most effective when designed to be relevant to the local area in terms of the local community, local offending and to management experience. The ‘dosage’ of an intervention needed to be considered so as to maximise effect, taking into account financial and personnel restrictions. Combinations of short- and long-term interventions were found to have a more sustainable impact on offending.

Other internal and extraneous factors are considered that may have acted to the benefit or detriment of implementation. These may have masked the impact of successful projects from the evaluators, or given the spurious impression of success. The projects could be undermined by changing operational and community priorities. Despite the wide range of problems that projects had with implementation, the Southern Consortium SDPs proved that successful projects were possible.

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