Summary of the Evaluation of the National Crime Prevention Strategy
About the Program
Created in 1998, the National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS) is Public Safety Canada’s (PS) policy framework for the implementation of crime prevention interventions in Canada. It provides funding to selected projects that contribute to preventing and reducing crime and to increasing knowledge about what is effective in the prevention of crime.
From 2008 to 2019, the NCPS has provided funding to 650 projects in communities across Canada, representing multi-year investments of approximately $500 million. The Strategy is implemented through four funding programs, three of which are included in this evaluation: the Youth Gang Prevention Fund (YGPF); the Crime Prevention Action Fund (CPAF); and the Northern and Indigenous Crime Prevention Fund (NICPF). Due to its unique nature, the Security Infrastructure Program will be evaluated separately in the 2025-26 fiscal year.
What We Examined
The purpose of the evaluation was to assess the relevance, effectiveness (achievement of outcomes) and efficiency of three of the funding programs under the NCPS: the YGPF, the CPAF and the NICPF. The evaluation covered the period from fiscal year 2018-19 to 2021-22 and was conducted in accordance with the Treasury Board Policy on Results and the Directive on Results.
- The NCPS is aligned with the mandate of PS and adjusts to align with federal priorities related to crime prevention.
- While risk and protective factors have not significantly changed since the inception of the program, criminal activity has evolved. The NCPS addresses ongoing risk factors and attempts to adapt to changes in criminal activity.
- The NCPS funding programs target communities and populations with elevated risks as well as addressing newer trends in crime. This has included focusing on Black and Indigenous youth and communities, activities related to cyberbullying and additional gender-specific programming.
- From the key informants’ perspective, the NCPS programs are reaching priority populations, but barriers remain.
- Other crime prevention funding programs exist both at PS and in other departments. While these programs are considered complementary, some duplication and overlap occurs.
- Overall, projects were implemented as planned though changes were made to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. While projects achieved successes, they also faced challenges.
- NCPS funding equipped communities to address risk factors that lead to crime in their priority populations.
- The NCPS publishes policy and knowledge resources related to best practices in crime prevention. Awareness of these resources could be improved as many external key informants made limited use of the resources to inform their decision making.
- Funding requests for the NCPS programs have consistently exceeded available funding.
- The NCPS is co-managed within PS. Governance issues exist, including communication challenges which may impede program efficiency.
- Information management and technological (IM/IT) infrastructure is dated and ineffective. Limited project level information is analyzed or utilized by PS, leading to inefficiencies.
- PS lacks information on whether projects continue following the end of NCPS funding. Key informants stated that sustainability is less feasible for smaller organizations.
The Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Crime Prevention Branch, and the Assistant Deputy Minister, Emergency Management and Programs Branch should:
- Ensure that project level performance data is systematically collected, analyzed and leveraged for decisions regarding policy and research directions.
- Develop and implement information management practices, and tools, to assist in the maintenance of corporate knowledge and lessen the burden on projects.
- Increase the dissemination of policy and knowledge resources and make efforts to improve the accessibility of existing policy and knowledge resources.
- Consider options to further support project sustainability.
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