The study, Turning the Tide, calls for greater measures and resources to prevent crime, particularly by young men, rather than dealing with offences after they have been committed.
The Demos report argues that research shows prevention does work and suggests greater use of volunteer "community wardens" to help patrol problem areas.
Jon Bright, director of field operations at Crime Concern, highlights the use of civic guards in the Netherlands as an example of how the new scheme could work.
The report says that crime costs central and local government an estimated pounds 16.7bn a year and that one in three men are convicted of an offence by the time they are 40.
Turning the Tide; pounds 12.95; Demos - 0171 3534479.Reuse content