The International Centre for the Prevention of Crime (ICPC) was established in 1994 in response to calls for action from local authorities, governments and UN crime prevention entities.

Major steps leading to the creation of the ICPC:

•    In 1986, a meeting was organized in Strasbourg, France by the Council of Europe on the role of local policies to deal with urban violence and insecurity. This was followed in 1987 by a Conference in Barcelona, Spain on the Reduction of Urban Insecurity, which led to the creation of the European Forum for Urban Safety (EFUS). That conference stressed in its Final Declaration the importance of ‘facilitating the exchange of information on crime prevention’.

•    In 1989, the First European and North American Conference on Urban Safety and Crime Prevention was held in Montreal, Canada. This event was organized by associations of cities, including the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), The United States Conference of Mayors, and EFUS. The Final Declaration affirmed that ‘means will be explored to pursue on a continuing basis the exchange of information begun at the Montreal Conference’.

•    In 1990, the Montreal Urban Community (MUC), with the support of The United States Conference of Mayors, EFUS, and FCM developed a proposal for the establishment of an international organization in Montreal, aimed at fostering exchanges and technical cooperation between local authorities on ways to make cities safer. The proposal was submitted to the participants at the Paris Conference (see below).

•    In 1991, the Second International Conference on Urban Safety, Drugs and Crime Prevention was held in Paris, France. The Final Declaration called for ‘developed countries [to] support the creation of an International Centre for the Prevention of Crime, consistent with the objectives of the United Nations and which might become affiliated with it’.

•    In 1991, the Ministerial Meeting on the creation of an Effective United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme held in Versailles, France ‘welcomed the proposal adopted by the Paris Conference concerning the creation of an international centre for the prevention of crime...’

•    In 1992, an international ad hoc committee, composed of representatives of several countries, associations of cities, United Nations institutes and crime prevention organizations and experts met in Montreal, Canada to discuss the mission, organization and activities of the proposed Centre.

•    In 1993, the governments of Canada, France and Quebec adopted a declaration on the creation in Montreal of the International Centre for the Prevention of Crime (ICPC) and joined forces with the MUC, FCM, EFUS and the Société du Centre de conférences internationales de Montréal, to set up a Constituent Board for the ICPC.