Fire and rescue service community safety initiatives: Measuring impact

Thomas Simpson, Daniel Wheatley, Vivienne Brunsden*, Rowena Hill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to discuss methods of capturing the impact of fire and rescue service (FRS) community safety work which directly aims to reduce the occurrence of specific incidents.

 Design/methodology/ approach: The impact assessment method described focuseson addressing one of the major problems with regards to attributing outcomes to FRS community safety work; the influence of external factors. This paper looked to assess the incident trends within a case study UK FRS within the context of the following external data sets: first, incident trends within other UK FRSs; second, demographic trends; and third, incident data from other public services.

 Findings: There were instances, either across the whole region served by the case study FRS, or within specific districts, where evidence suggested a strong likelihood of the community safety work of the case study FRS contributing towards an observed reduction in incidents. These findings were established through filtering the impact of widespread external factors, which could impact upon incident figures.

 Research limitations/implications: The utility of this impact assessment relies upon FRS consistently recording the specific aims and focus of individual community safety activity, so that any positive outcomes can be attributed to a particular group of community safety initiatives.

 Originality/value: This paper discusses how an evaluation process, to determine the likelihood of community safety impacting upon incident numbers, can be practically applied to a FRS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-100
Number of pages13
JournalSafer Communities
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2014


  • Community safety initiatives
  • Evaluation
  • Fire and rescue service
  • Impact assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Community and Home Care


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