Applications for the Crime Prevention Innovation Fund are now closed. 


Program overview

Why is the Victorian Government funding these grants?

Common crime risks and protective factors

Application and assessment

Crime Prevention Innovation Fund objectives

What can be funded?

What will not be funded

Assessment criteria

General assessment considerations

How can I improve my chances of being approved for funding?

Grant management responsibilities

Program overview

The Crime Prevention Innovation Fund is part of the government’s Building Safer Communities Program and offers grants of between $25,000 and $300,000 for partnership projects that deliver and evaluate innovative community safety and crime prevention initiatives.

Victorian councils and not for profit organisations that are a legal entity are eligible to apply. Research bodies and commercial entities (such as consultancies or social enterprises) can apply but must partner with a council or community organisation on their application.

Applications closed at 4pm on Friday 11 February 2022.

Approximately $2.4 million is available through the Crime Prevention Innovation Fund. 

Partnerships are strongly encouraged through the program. One eligible organisation will be responsible for submitting the application for the partnership 
and managing the grant if the project is approved for funding. An organisation can be a partner on multiple applications however it can only take the lead on one application. 

Projects must be able to commence as soon as possible after funding is confirmed and be completed by 30 June 2024.

Why is the Victorian government funding these grants?

At the heart of the government’s Crime Prevention Strategy is a focus on empowering and investing in Victorian communities to deliver tailored and effective interventions addressing the causes of offending. It recognises that communities hold the knowledge, skills and experience to design and deliver effective solutions to local issues. Information on the Crime Prevention Strategy (External link) is available on this website. The government’s Crime Prevention Strategy sits alongside other key government reform strategies such as the Youth Justice Strategic Plan 2020-30.

Crime prevention approaches are most effective when government partners with communities to understand and address issues that make some communities more vulnerable to crime and victimisation. Through the Crime Prevention Innovation Fund and the broader Building Safer Communities program the government aims to: 

  • support local communities to deliver innovative crime and community safety solutions in local areas.
  • promote the development and delivery of collaborative, partnership approaches to crime prevention as part of a strategic approach to local community safety.
  • build community capability through knowledge sharing and strengthened relationships. 

The government’s Crime Prevention Strategy sits alongside other key government reform strategies such as the Youth Justice Strategic Plan 2020-30, as shown in the diagram below. The Crime Prevention Innovation Fund seeks to support projects that address risk factors for offending and intervene early to prevent first-time contact with the justice system.

A line of interconnected hexagons showing where the strategy will focus its efforts across a spectrum

Common crime risk and protective factors

The following table provides a list of common crime-related risk and protective factors. The Crime Prevention Innovation Fund can  support projects that help build protective factors against offending, and address risk factors. 

Common crime-related risk and protective factors
Type of factor Risk factors Protective factors
  • low impulse control
  • low level of literacy
  • low school achievement
  • mental health challenges
  • alcohol and other drug misuse
  • incarceration at an early age
  • experiencing violence, abuse or neglect
  • good reasoning and problem-solving skills
  • high academic achievement
  • strong commitment to school
  • positive attitudes, values or beliefs
  • conflict resolution skills
  • good mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health
  • positive self-esteem
  • strong cultural identity
  • strong interpersonal connections
  • parenting challenges
  • family conflict and violence
  • physical, sexual or emotional abuse as a child
  • healthy prenatal and early childhood development
  • good parental supervision
  • attachment to parents
  • positive adult role models, coaches and mentors
  • parents and peers disapprove of antisocial behaviour
  • low levels of family adversity
  • low family income
  • insecure or unstable housing
  • negative peer influences
  • characteristics of surrounding neighbourhood:
    • concentrated economic disadvantage
    • high crime
    • residential instability
    • low levels of social cohesion
    • unemployment
  • equal socio-economic status
  • presence of pro-social friends
  • high levels of community engagement
  • strong social supports
  • participation in community groups
  • volunteerism
  • ability to access services and support
  • stable housing
  • steady employment

Source: The factors in this table have been drawn from the existing evidence base, including David P. Farrington, Rolf Loeber and Maria M. Ttofi, ‘Risk and protective factors for offending’ in Brandon C. Welsh and David P. Farrington (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Crime Prevention (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012) pp. 46-69. 

Application and assessment process 

Applications open: Monday 15 November 2021

Applications close: 4pm Friday 11 February 2022

You must prepare and submit your application using an online platform called SmartyGrants.

Organisations can only submit one Crime Prevention Innovation Fund application. Late applications cannot be submitted or considered.

We will assess your application for eligibility against the assessment criteria outlined below.

We may give your application to representatives from other government agencies including Aboriginal Justice and Victoria Police for comment.

The Minister for Crime Prevention will approve projects for funding.

We aim to let you know the outcome of your application within approximately three months of the program closing date, though this may depend on the number of applications we receive.

The Department of Justice and Community Safety (the department) will enter into funding agreements with successful applicants. A detailed overview 
of the responsibilities of successful applicants is outlined below.

Supporting work in Aboriginal communities

The government is committed to working together with Aboriginal community organisations to improve Aboriginal justice outcomes, family and community safety, and reduce over-representation in the Victorian criminal justice system. Aboriginal people understand the issues of concern and priority in their local areas and 
are best placed to lead and deliver culturally appropriate solutions. 

At least 20% of the total Crime Prevention Innovation Fund budget will be directed to projects that are led by Aboriginal community controlled organisations, or projects that work in genuine partnership with Aboriginal communities to build protective factors against involvement with the justice system. 

If your project seeks to work with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community organisations or members, you must seek the relevant Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee’s (RAJAC) endorsement of your project and provide evidence of this with your application.  Consulting your local RAJAC can help to refine project ideas in the planning stage to ensure the project aligns with Regional Justice Action Plans. 

Information about the Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee network including contact details (External link).

Crime Prevention Innovation Fund objectives

Given the strong demand for funding, the more of the below objectives your project will address, the more competitive your application will be.

The Crime Prevention Innovation Fund will support projects that:

  • test new approaches to addressing crime and community safety issues that focus on prevention or early intervention that are evidence based and reflect promising practice
  • actively build capability within the community to understand and address crime and community safety issues
  • contribute to the evidence base of effective crime prevention practice.

What can be funded?

Funding is available for a range of innovative projects that address the above objectives. This includes but is not limited to:

  • demonstration projects to test and evaluate new approaches to preventing crime and addressing risk factors for offending that consider how benefits may be sustained beyond the funding period
  • initiatives that work with and engage diverse communities or groups (such as cultural or religious groups, women, young people or members of the LGBTQI community) to identify, test and document practical strategies that build resilience and improve safety and perceptions of safety
  • initiatives that establish or strengthen partnerships across community, business, sport, government services and other sectors to address the causes of offending and crime and build community cohesion and safety
  • the development and testing of practical tools and resources to improve the understanding and/or management of crime and community safety related issues.

Examples of projects funded under the previous round of the Crime Prevention Innovation Fund are available.

What do we mean by a crime prevention innovation project?

The department defines ‘innovation’ as a new approach to creating significant positive change. Innovative crime prevention initiatives use creative ways to address crime and safety issues by delivering projects that increase the capability for the community to understand and address crime.

What will not be funded

The following applications or costs will not be funded:

  • projects that do not address the specified objectives of the Crime Prevention Innovation Fund
  • projects that seek to improve the way the justice system responds to and supports people who are involved with the justice system
  • applications that are above the maximum or below the minimum grant available
  • activities that do not align with effective crime prevention practice
  • activities that have already commenced for which retrospective funding is sought
  • activities that duplicate existing programs run by government or other organisations in the local area
  • the purchase of land or buildings or the renovation of buildings
  • projects that can’t be completed by 30 June 2024 or create the need for, or expectation of, further government funding
  • research that is purely academic in nature and is not used to inform the practical component of a project, or which does not result in practical tools or resources that can be used by communities
  • the development of software applications (apps)
  • activities that provide an unreasonable commercial advantage to the applicant
  • overseas or interstate travel related costs
  • recurring or ongoing operating costs that relate to business-as-usual activities, including employment of staff 
  • projects that are seeking funding to continue existing programs unless significant, innovative modifications have been made.

Applications for which there is another source of funding available from the Victorian government may be referred across to other relevant departments for consideration. You are encouraged to check the government’s grants portal (External link) to see if there are other more suitable sources of funding for the activity you propose.

You will not be eligible for funding if you have any late or outstanding reports required for any previous Community Crime Prevention Program grant such as the Community Safety Infrastructure Grants, Community Safety Fund, Public Safety Infrastructure Fund or Graffiti Prevention Grants.

Please email (External link) if you are unsure if your organisation is up to date. 

If you are unsure about whether your project will be eligible for funding, you should discuss the idea before you start your application

If you have any questions after reading these guidelines or the information resources on our website, you can email the department at (External link)

Information for unincorporated organisations

An unincorporated organisation may only access grants if an incorporated organisation or council applies on its behalf. This is known as an ‘auspice’ arrangement. Only unincorporated organisations are able to be auspiced in this way. Applications that involve auspice arrangements for ineligible organisations (such as Victoria Police or other government agencies) will not be considered.

If your application is successful, the ‘auspice’ organisation agrees to take the full legal and financial responsibility for the project. Grant funds are paid directly to the ‘auspice’ organisation. 

It is expected that the auspice organisation will support the unincorporated organisation to build the knowledge and skills required to apply for and manage government grants as part of the project. This will be considered when assessing applications that contain auspice arrangements and you should clearly state how this support will be provided in your application. 

Find more information about auspice arrangements at Justice Connect's Not-for-profit-law website (External link).

Assessment criteria

Eligible applications will be assessed using the following criteria. Weightings are provided as a guide to the relative importance of each criterion in the assessment.

Assessment criteria with weightings for Crime Prevention Innovation Fund
Assessment criteria Weighting Application requirements

1. Applies a strong problem-solving approach to address a crime related issue


The application:

  • clearly outlines what the project will do and deliver and how your project will achieve the objectives of the funding stream
  • responds to a clear crime prevention issue supported by relevant local information, data and evidence
  • provides a strong rationale for why the proposed solution is the most effective way to address the identified crime prevention issue with reference to research and evidence.

2. Supports genuine community involvement and builds capability 


The application:

  • has been developed through community consultation and includes clear opportunities for further community involvement in the design, delivery and evaluation of the project
  • demonstrates a commitment to working in partnership and developing the capacity and capability of small partner organisations where relevant, for example by sharing grant funds and skills and knowledge
  • demonstrates how the project will actively contribute to the understanding of effective crime prevention practice and influence others.

3. Shows a strong project management approach


The application:

  • demonstrates a clear project management approach to show the sequence of activity and how risks will be managed to ensure the work is completed by 30 June 2024
  • is supported by a detailed budget supported with quotes or cost estimates
  • draws on the skills and knowledge from across the organisation and community to implement the project. 

General assessment considerations

The department will also consider the following when recommending applications for funding:

  • value for money (for example, if the project builds on other investment in the local area or includes co-contributions toward funding the project)
  • the impact on the community of the identified crime prevention issue.
  • broader crime and safety needs of the target community.
  • promoting diversity in project types and locations across Victoria.
  • whether you have previously received a Community Crime Prevention grant and how well it was managed. 

How can I improve my chances of being approved for funding? 

The following section provides some suggestions on how you can develop a strong application that has a good chance of success.

Work in partnership 

Partnerships are strongly encouraged. You might consider working with the following community partners:

  • incorporated and non-incorporated not-for-profit community organisations
  • local retailers, small businesses, and local trader associations
  • local community groups and organisations which represent special interests and issues, e.g. schools, young people, environment, heritage, cultural, sporting and residents’ groups
  • research bodies and commercial entities (such as consultancies or social enterprises)
  • local police
  • public transport and utility companies.

Where applicable you are strongly encouraged to ensure that the contribution of smaller multicultural and Aboriginal organisations is resourced through the grant or other funding sources, and that there is a clear approach to building capability among partner organisations as part of the project.  

Grant funding should not be used to cover project related costs of government agencies including Victoria Police. Your application must clearly identify all partners, the amount of funding going to each partner and what the funding will be used for. If the application is successful, one organisation will be responsible for managing the funding agreement with the department and distributing funds to partners as outlined in the application. 

Clearly explain the problem, the solution and why you think your project will be a success 

Your application should clearly identify the crime prevention issues your project aims to address and provide supporting evidence or data to help us understand the problem, what is causing it, and what impact it is having in the community. You should clearly say how your project will address these issues, and how you will measure the impact and success of your project. 

Larger value projects should provide a Theory of Change with your application. This will set out the problem, the proposed solution, and objectives of the project and provide a strong basis for evaluating your project if your application is funded. 

Provide a detailed budget supported by quotes or cost estimates

Providing a detailed budget with your application shows that you have costed the individual activities and expenses that make up your project. You will not be able to request further funding if you find your project is more expensive to deliver than you thought. Providing evidence to show how you have costed your project is very helpful.  

Read the resources on our website and show how they have influenced the design of your project

Additional resources that will assist you to apply for a grant are available on our website: 

Provide evidence to support your application

You can provide evidence with your application to help explain:

  • the need for your project
  • what your project will do and deliver
  • why you think the project will be a success
  • who your partners are and what role they will play in supporting your project.

The lists below outline the type of evidence you can provide to support your application. You don’t need to provide all this information, only include what is relevant to your application. You might be able to think of other information that is also relevant to your project.

A shorter, well written application that clearly addresses each of the assessment criteria is often more effective than a long, overly detailed application, which can make the key information difficult to identify. 

Explaining project need

  • community survey or community engagement results
  • local demographic information
  • information from Victoria Police and the Crime Statistics Agency that demonstrates a crime or safety issue in your area
  • media articles on the local problem your project aims to address
  • feasibility studies or consultancy reports
  • council information (for example, the number of complaints about a particular issue, work logs or maintenance records)
  • community safety audits, such as Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) audits.

Explaining what your project will do and deliver

  • a project plan that shows key tasks and dates
  • maps, plans and photos
  • a project or Theory of Change document which sets out what you intend to achieve and how you intend to do it
  • detailed budget including quotes or cost estimates. 

Explaining why your project will be a success

  • information on other similar projects your organisation has managed and the outcomes it achieved.
  • Research or project evaluations 
  • A risk assessment outlining the potential challenges to achieving success and how these will be managed.

Explaining who your partners are and what they will do

  • a list of who you have approached to be involved as partners and how the partnership will benefit the project
  • letters of support that confirm what each partner will do and what experience they have in supporting similar projects 
  • information about the partners will work together, including how partners will plan, report progress, keep records of meetings and deliver the project.

Grant management responsibilities

Funding agreement

If your project is approved for funding, the department will prepare a funding agreement based on the Victorian Common Funding Agreement (VCFA) depending on the value of the grant:

  • under $50,000 (ex GST) – short form funding agreement, or
  • $50,000 (ex GST) or over – standard form funding agreement which is made up of two parts
    • Part A outlines project-specific obligations for funding and reporting requirements and will be based on the information in your application, any additional information we asked for, and any amendments we agreed
    • Part B is a set of standard terms and conditions that apply to all government grant funded projects. 

Grant recipient responsibilities

Grant recipients will be responsible for:

  • entering into a funding agreement with the department within no more than four weeks of the date of the funding offer. You must comply with all requirements of the funding agreement
  • ensuring appropriate arrangements are in place to sustain the project and its outcomes
  • ensuring compliance with all government regulations, including occupational health and safety and any other applicable laws
  • ensuring they are compliant with the Child Safe Standards under the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 and providing evidence of this as required by the department (projects working with young people only)
  • letting the department know if anything happens that might change your project or the way it is delivered before any changes are made.

Project partners will be responsible for:

  • managing and accounting for any grant funding they are given to resource their involvement
  • participating in project activities as outlined in the project management plan
  • encouraging and supporting community members and groups to participate in the project
  • complying with applicable government regulations, including occupational health and safety.

Important note on working with children and young people 

If your project will work with young people under the age of 18 years, your funding agreement requires you to comply with the Child Safe Standards and the requirements of the Working with Children Check, where relevant. Information on Child Safe Standards requirements can be found on our website 

You will also be required to have insurance in place against child abuse. Further information on insurance against child abuse, including minimum requirements, can be obtained from the Department of Justice and Community Safety's website (External link)

If your organisation does not already have insurance coverage against claims of child abuse that meet these minimum requirements (such as coverage provided through the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority’s Community Support Organisation Program) and you need to purchase additional insurance coverage, you should get two or three quotes from insurance providers to determine the cost of this insurance. 

You can include the cost of maintaining this insurance for the period of your project in your project budget and have it covered by the grant.

You should provide a copy of the insurance policy to confirm it meets the government’s requirements with your application. You should not purchase an insurance product until you are advised your application has been approved for funding and you have signed a funding agreement with the department. You will be expected to provide a certificate of coverage to confirm the insurance is in place within one month of signing the agreement or as agreed.

Special note on Intellectual Property

It is expected that any intellectual property developed by funded projects will be made readily available for community use and the department reserves the right to publish information from funded projects on the Community Crime Prevention website. This includes evaluation reports, any practical tools or resources developed or any other information that may help to share project learnings with others.  


Capturing and sharing lessons learnt from your project is a key objective of this grants program. 

All projects will be required to submit an evaluation plan and baseline data early in their project and to submit an evaluation within a reasonable timeframe of completion and acquittal of the project (timeframe to be agreed with the department, depending on the nature of the project).

Evaluation findings will be published on the department’s website, and the department also reserves the right to publish full evaluation reports of funded projects.

You may need Adobe® Acrobat® Reader or Libre Office to view the document(s) on this page.

Get Adobe® Acrobat® Reader (External link)

Get Libre Office (External link)