National Crime Prevention Council Presidential Statement on Crime

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President and CEO Alfonso Lenhardt of the National Crime Prevention Council is calling upon President-elect Barack Obama to commit to a national agenda to renew crime prevention resources and support local law enforcement across the country.

National Crime Prevention Council

If it helps with the new puppy talk at the White House, NCPC is happy to lend our beloved icon, McGruff the Crime Dog, to keep things safe and sound.

The economic downturn, home foreclosures, and major cuts to law enforcement and crime prevention budgets have led President and CEO Alfonso Lenhardt of the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) to call upon President-elect Barack Obama to commit to a national agenda to renew crime prevention resources and support local law enforcement across the country.

"Waves of local crime are breaking out in communities all across the country. It is imperative that our new president enact a strategy to stem the rising tide of crime," said Lenhardt. "Many of us have become complacent with constant reports of a record 30-year decline in crime rates."

Lenhardt continued by saying that part of the economic crisis is the very real risk of crime escalating. Last year 1.7 million violent crimes occurred. What are we doing about those victimized or those we want to prevent becoming the next victims? While Wall Street grapples with its financial storm, main street America is dealing with a potential perfect storm of crime. Communities confronting the home foreclosure crisis are seeing an increase in crime. Tight budgets for public safety services mean fewer resources to combat crime at the local level. Reduced services and a bleak economic future can make people resort to crime just to make ends meet.

Recently, 45 cities in a survey conducted by the Police Executive Research Forum reported a 12 percent increase in robberies over the last two years and an increase of nearly 10 percent in aggravated assaults with a firearm. Furthermore, a recent report stated nearly 30 percent of U.S. cities reported an increase in vandalism and burglary from foreclosed properties and nationally, one in 33 homeowners expect to be in foreclosure in the next two years, according to the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

If America wants to stop the rising crime in our hardest hit communities and keep crime at bay in others, we must invest in comprehensive approaches to fighting crime. Together we can establish cost-effective prevention strategies and initiatives to help encourage Americans of all ages to do their part.

NCPC is calling for a five-step agenda to prevent crime.

1.    Restore funding to local law enforcement and public safety services with emphasis on bringing crime prevention education services back to local police departments across the country.
2.    Create a movement to prevent crime in America. Call upon all citizens to become actively engaged in the effort to reduce crime and get involved in prevention activities that create safer, more caring communities.
3.    Support crime prevention education initiatives and programs that work to build better citizens who work to prevent crime in communities hardest hit by current spikes in crime.
4.    Establish a crime prevention organization in every state whose responsibility is to engage all levels of the community in prevention strategies and to work with local law enforcement to find solutions to local crime problems.
5.    Reduce the rate of recidivism by providing reentry programs, crime prevention education, and job opportunities for the more than 650,000 prisoners returning to their communities each year.

The National Crime Prevention Council believes crime prevention is everyone's business. We know how to make our communities safer by investing in the programs that work and supporting our law enforcement partners across the country.

In conclusion, NCPC President and CEO Lenhardt had one light-hearted offer for President-elect Obama. "If it helps with the new puppy talk at the White House, NCPC is happy to lend our beloved icon, McGruff the Crime Dog, to keep things safe and sound."

About the National Crime Prevention Council
The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) is a private, nonprofit organization whose primary mission is to be the nation's leader in helping people keep themselves, their families, and their communities safe from crime. NCPC manages public service advertising under the National Citizens' Crime Prevention Campaign--symbolized by McGruff the Crime Dog® and his "Take A Bite Out Of Crime®" slogan--and acts as secretariat for the Crime Prevention Coalition of America, more than 400 national, federal, state, and local organizations representing thousands of constituents who are committed to preventing crime. NCPC is funded through a variety of government agencies, corporate and private foundations, and donations from private individuals. For more information on crime prevention issues, visit http://www.ncpc.org.

Further Information:
Michelle Boykins
202-261-4184
mboykins(at)ncpc.org

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