Crime Prevention Month

History and Purpose

In 1984, the National Crime Prevention Council designated October Crime Prevention Month. Every year since then, government agencies, civic groups, schools, businesses, and youth organizations have reached out to educate the public, showcase their accomplishments, and explore new partnerships during this special month.

NCPC selects annual themes based on crime trends and local feedback. NCPC works with national partners to provide free, online resources to help communities address these trends locally. Resources – training programs, downloadable education materials, printable handouts, and links – will help law enforcement, crime prevention practitioners, and community groups plan and implement crime prevention events during Crime Prevention Month and throughout the year.

Crime Prevention Month Themes

Each week of Crime Prevention Month we highlight a theme, partners, and resources.

Week 1:  McGruff® Turns 40!

Our beloved McGruff turns 40 next year on July 1, 2020. NCPC plans to celebrate this milestone. Planning for a big celebration takes time and funding. That is why we are turning to you for assistance. Keep an eye out for ways that you can participate in community celebrations and by sponsoring events. Please email, Tweet, or Facebook message us new crime prevention techniques to highlight your community event that shows how you continue to help “Take A Bite Out Of Crime!®”

Week 2: Stop Bullying

Bullying is heartbreaking. It is defined as aggressive behavior that is persistent, intentional, and involves an imbalance of power or strength. Bullying is now seen as a serious problem by parents, educators, medical and mental health professionals, and scholars. Although bullying was once considered a rite of passage, parents, educators, and community leaders now see bullying as a devastating form of abuse that can have long-term effects on youthful victims, robbing them of self-esteem, isolating them from their peers, causing them to drop out of school, and even prompting health problems and suicide.

Now, bullying has followed teens online. Cyberbullying is a modern twist on traditional bullying. Cyberbullying is defined as use of the Internet, cell phones, or other devices to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person. Cyberbullying includes such things as sending malicious emails, spreading rumors or threats, and posting embarrassing or intimate photos of a person -sometimes altered – without their permission. Frequently, the audience is enormous. And what lives in cyberspace can never be fully erased.

Week 3: Crime Prevention Matters

NCPC has been a leader in crime prevention since 1982, and what better way to educate the public than to share our resources and partners?

Both crime and fear of crime factor into people’s decisions about where they go and what they do. People avoid neighborhoods that are thought to be dangerous – even if they aren’t. They watch television rather than walk outside – even though most people believe their own neighborhoods are safe. They limit their children’s social activities – even though the gravest danger to children comes from people they know.

We are turning to YOU – our network of crime prevention practitioners – to share innovative ideas and best practices you are using in the field (email info@ncpc.org). Throughout the week, NCPC will be providing tips and informative materials that you can distribute in your neighborhoods and communities.

Week 4: Counterfeit Dangers

Thinking about buying that “too good to be true” item online? You might want to think again. Too good to be true prices and products often can result in a disappointed consumer. Counterfeit products cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars each year, impact jobs, increase safety hazards, and support criminal and gang activity. NCPC wants to increase people’s desire to buy genuine goods. We want all consumers to develop a desire to make smart and safe buying decisions.

Week 5: Ridesharing Safety

Millions of people use ridesharing apps every day. When it comes to creating a safe and supportive community for students, everyone has a role to play. NCPC has teamed up with Uber and Young Minds Inspired (YMI) to create Take Care of Each Other, a campus safety initiative that focuses on ridesharing safety both on and off campus.  Creating safer communities begins with empowering students to make smart choices and to look out for each other. Together, we share a collective goal that aims to help keep students safe and provide them with education and tools about safe travel on and off campus. For more information and for the materials related to the program please visit: http://ymiclassroom.com/lesson-plans/campus-safety/

What You Can Do

Ways you can celebrate Crime Prevention Month

Here are some ways that you can promote crime prevention—and Halloween safety—this October.

  • Link to crime prevention websites. The main NCPC site, www.ncpc.org, offers information on how states are fighting crime, tips on personal and community safety.
  • Include crime prevention tips on your website and in newsletters, or at the bottom of your written or email correspondence during the month.
  • Visit the Stop Bullying Now! campaign at https://www.stopbullying.gov to download free resources such as tip sheets for adults and cartoon webisodes for youth to unite and inform communities about the importance of bullying prevention.
  • Request a photo opportunity with McGruff the Crime Dog through your local police department. Use the photo to highlight the issue of crime prevention in your local newspapers, on your website, in newsletters, and in your office.
  • Ask your local police department to host a community crime prevention event with McGruff and invite your local news media to cover the story. Be sure to check out Your Crime Prevention Month Event for resources to help you plan.
  • Suggest that your local newspaper print crime prevention tips and feature crime prevention stories throughout the month of October.
  • Sponsor a Crime Prevention Month poster or essay contest in your community.
  • Write an op-ed article for your local newspaper highlighting Crime Prevention Month and Halloween safety.
  • Host a Halloween safety event in your community. Make sure McGruff is there so children can have a photo opportunity with him.
  • Have a Halloween parade in your community and invite McGruff.
  • Invite the media to cover your events and activities.
  • Post photos and stories to your social media pages, especially those with McGruff, and tag NCPC – @McGruffatNCPC or #McGruff

Crime Prevention Month Kits