Be aware of the link between organised crime and terrorism: My own take on the is that the lines that once separated organised crime from terrorism are increasingly blurred. That does not mean that they are the same actors, nor motivated by the same factors. However, there is an increasing convergence among some gangs and terrorists in terms of their methods. The Zetas have clearly appropriated terrorist tactics to pursue their motives. John de Boer
Target inequality: We need to address economic inequality which I believe is central to reducing crime and violence in the long run. We need universal provision of high quality childcare that is affordable for all, and to narrow the difference between the top-to-bottom earnings and rebuild the link between economic prosperity and wages. Vanessa Padayachee
Focus on hotspots: We’ve got scientific evidence that a focus on hotspots and ‘hot people’ can prevent or reduce violence. But we need also accompany this with other measures – urban upgrading, better urban planning, situational prevention – especially early childhood intervention. Robert Muggah, research director of , Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the , Canada
Create well-targeted programmes: If the goal is to reduce homicides, then programme selection should be located in hotspot areas and focused on the population group most likely to commit violence crimes, often young males between 10-29 years old. The risk factors for why these young men get involved in criminality also needs to be clearly diagnosed and complemented with a treatment plan that involves the family and community. Enrique Roig, director, citizen security, , Washington, DC
There are many ways you can take control and help prevent crime in your home, in your neighborhood, and at your local schools. It's a matter of communication, commitment, and time.
Focus on prevention: Prison populations are overflowing, crime is high and violence is a culture in South Africa. The focus needs to be on preventing the conditions that draw people into violent or criminal behaviour. In order to do this we need a systematic, integrated, coordinated approach combining the responsibilities of a wide range of state and non-state actors. Venessa Padayachee, national advocacy and lobbying manager, , Cape town, South Africa
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The 18th century witnessed the
height of the British Empire, but the rough band of colonial freedom
fighters discovered the power of the Minuteman, the average American gun
Avoid repressive policies: Many countries have approached the problem of violence from a crime and security angle, focusing their action on law-enforcement only. Unfortunate examples of this are the in Central America. While justice and police have an important role to play, repression only is counter-productive if not combined with development interventions that look at the drivers of violence, and tackle things like skills and education of youth, socio-economic inequalities, and access to communal services. Luigi De Martino, senior researcher, , Geneva
Don’t forget about male violence: There are lots of interventions that are focused on women’s rights. These are noble. But the vast majority of killings I have seen around the world are by men on men. I think this needs to be addressed. The international community focuses a great deal on the impact of violence against women. If you address the male drivers of violence, you reduce the female harm of violence. Iain Overton, author, , London
Over the years there has been a dramatic increase in the number of serious crimes being committed. While some people are of the opinion that capital punishment is the best way to tackle this problem, others disagree. In other opinion, other measures are required to reduce the crime rates. This essay will discuss both sides of the argument in detail.
Localise programmes: During the 90s in Rio we had rates of homicide that would go beyond epidemic levels (over 100 per 100,000 citizens). It took a really costly but comprehensive programme in Brazil called to tie up a lot of elements that were drivers of violence in the country, building local frameworks, gun-free zones and fostering civic culture to reduce violence, which has been the case in Bogotá, Medellín in Colombia and Santa Tecla in El Salvador. Natasha Leite de Moura, project adviser, public security programme, , Lima, Peru
However, capital punishment alone will not reduce the crime rates. If that was the case, then most countries should be free of serious crimes now because death penalty is still given in the majority of developed and developing countries. Therefore, the argument that other measures are also required to reduce crime certainly holds water.