In the latter part of the 1970s, it was recognised that communities should be enlisted in the fight against crime, and that the police alone could not – and indeed should not – be the sole participants in this struggle.
This view secured widespread support and culminated in a Government initiative to encourage the creation of crime prevention panels where representatives from both the community and police could meet to discuss local crime problems and work towards joint solutions to those problems.
The resident population of the City of London is very small due to the concentration of business offices within the City. As a result, the pattern of crime is unique. Street crime is low in comparison with other city centres. The vast majority of the City community is employed within the financial services sector and the main area of concern is “business crime,” involving fraud related to complex and sophisticated business systems.
Three Crime Prevention Associations
Given this unique set of circumstances, in 1978 the City of London responded by establishing three Crime Prevention Associations, (CPA) each closely aligned to one of the existing Police Divisions (at Snow Hill, Wood Street and Bishopsgate).
Each Association had a strong sense of identity and this was reflected both in their close relationships with the divisional police stations and their respective members.
Under the police restructuring in the 1980s, the CoL Police reduced its Divisions from three to two but the three CPAs elected to retain their original identities.
The Crime and Disorder Act of 1998
The Crime and Disorder Act of 1998 placed unprecedented emphasis on both the role and the importance of crime prevention partnerships between the police and communities.
It was about this time that the three CPAs began to consider the possibility of establishing one City CPA. It was not around 2003 that this initiative came to fruition when the Wood Street Crime Prevention Association and the Bishopsgate Crime Prevention Association amalgamated to form the City of London Crime Prevention Association (CoLCPA)
A unique Association
The CoLCPA is as unique as the City of London itself. We provide the City Police and the community we serve with an invaluable communication network. The concerns of CPA members reflect the needs and priorities of the City Police and vice versa. Over the years, our joint initiatives have achieved a great deal in tackling new crime risks as well as maintaining vigilance around more traditional problems.