Bystander Intervention: Options for Campus Involvement in Crime Prevention

In order to effectively and consistently reduce crime within any given community, a culture of intolerance of crime must be created among community members. While there are multiple components necessary to create this culture-including strong laws and policies, effective enforcement, and victim support, for example-a primary, often-overlooked resource is the non-offending members of the community. The umbrella term of “bystander” is used to describe all individuals who are aware that crime is happening in their communities and are, therefore, in a position to take action to reduce crime. In most communities, there are more individuals who are not committing crimes than those who are; thus, an effective strategy to mobilize these non-offending community members to action can ultimately shift community norms to active intolerance of crime and affect an ultimate reduction.