Creation of an international framework for the evaluation of crime observatories

Crime phenomena must be observed and analyzed in detail in order to implement adequate public policies. For security policies and, more specifically, crime prevention strategies to be effective, it is essential that they be based on a variety of data that are fair, of high quality, rich, and up-to-date.

To this end, crime observatories are tools that can be used to observe and analyze crime phenomena in order to inform decision-making when it comes to intervention and prevention. Yet, currently, there is no existing standard allowing to measure the quality of the observatories. Because of this gap, it is difficult to assess whether observatories can produce reliable data and analysis and constitute a relevant resource for public safety and prevention policies.

The purpose of developing an international framework for the evaluation of crime observatories is to create a framework validated by major international organizations and NGOs working in the field of crime phenomena observation and analysis, accepted by the professional community and providing a set of rules and principles essential for the constitution and functioning of observatories. This repository will be both a tool facilitating the creation of observatories, but also a matrix to evaluate the quality, relevance, and reliability of the data and the results produced by a given observatory.

The repository will classify observatories at one of three stages corresponding to their level of development: initial, intermediate or advanced.

This graduated approach has the advantage of giving room for development so the observatories can be enhanced. In other words, the repository will make it possible to evaluate observatories according to their level of development and to provide the necessary recommendations so that they can reach the next level of development, thereby improving the quality of data and analysis.

The project is conducted jointly by the ICPC (Canada), the National Institute of Higher Studies of Security and Justice (INHESJ-ONDRP, France), and the Organization of American States (OAS, USA). These are organizations that have extensive experience and recognized expertise in crime observation.