NHS Health Scotland
Outcome Indicators


6.5 Community engagement activities will contribute to decreased crime and fear of crime, reductions in the level of neighbourhood violence and reduced tolerance of neighbourhood violence. This in turn will contribute to improved mental health outcomes through increased levels of perceived and actual safety and a decrease in violence.

There is some evidence that community engagement may have a positive impact on crime and perceptions of crime.[1] Informed by reviews of effectiveness evidence, NICE public health guidance 09 Community engagement to improve health made 12 action recommendations which together are intended to present 'the ideal scenario for effective community engagement’. These include recommendations about the prerequisites, infrastructure, approaches and evaluation of community engagement programmes. The NHS Health Scotland commentary on this guidance supported these action points subject, where appropriate, to adaptation to fit Scottish organisational arrangements.[2]

The evidence base for broader strategies which are effective in reducing actual and perceived levels of crime has not been examined.


  1. NICE (2008). Public Health Guidance 09: Community engagement to improve health. NICE: London.

  2. NHS Health Scotland (2008). Health Scotland Commentary on NICE Public Health Guidance: Community engagement to improve health. NHS Health Scotland: Edinburgh.