Article 40 – Prevention

Article 40 – Prevention

1) Member States shall take appropriate measures to prevent crime. Preventive measures shall include awareness-raising campaigns, research and education programmes, developed in cooperation with civil society organisations, social partners, impacted communities and other stakeholders.

2) Member States shall take measures to support research on prevention measures including through appropriate funding.

3) Targeted action shall be addressed to groups that are particularly vulnerable to crime or to be targeted by criminals, as determined through research, statistics, reporting of crimes and information provided by those working with victims, taking into consideration language barriers and different levels of literacy and abilities. Information shall be formulated to take into account any barriers to communication victims may face in accordance with Article 37 (6)

4) Member States shall make information on preventive measures, the available protection and support measures available to the general public.

5) Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that targeted and effective intervention programmes are established to prevent and minimise the risk of committing crimes or reoffending. The intervention programmes shall be made available to those who have committed a crime or to those who fear they might commit a serious offence including violence against women or domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual abuse.

COMMENTARY – Article 40

The Commission did not amend or introduce new provisions relating to prevention activities.

However, as reflected by VSE’s policy paper ‘Transforming how we communicate with victims’[1], most prevention activities, such as awareness-raising campaigns and associated activities (training, education programmes, etc.), are ad hoc initiatives of limited duration, which are unable to address long-term behaviour or change attitudes.

Member States should support and participate in activities that reduce crime, including measures that raise public awareness on the risks of crime so that citizens can mitigate such risks. The suggested amendments are inspired by the EU’s Proposal for a Directive on Violence against Women and the EU’s Anti-Trafficking Directive.

There is clear evidence that well-planned crime prevention strategies not only avert crime and victimisation, but also improve community safety and contribute to national sustainable development efforts; effective, responsible crime prevention enhances the quality of life of all citizens. Crime prevention has long-term benefits in terms of reducing the costs associated with the formal criminal justice system, as well as social costs that arise as a result of crime. We suggest that this can be achieved by incorporating a variety of related topics (e.g. healthy communication and resilience activities, addressing violence from a victim’s perspective, identifying ‘safe’ adults, etc.) into school curricula and other educational programmes.

[1] Transforming how we communicate with victims, Victim Support Europe, 2023, available at: