The Policy Exchange's report into housing estates in Britain cites the work of "dedicated individuals" in tackling social problems.
The Halcon Estate in Taunton suffered decades of trouble, blighted by unemployment, severe drug problems, domestic violence and burglary.
Local police officer Andy Murphy, who grew up in the local area, is credited with transforming the estate.
- He helped increase the reporting of crime by introducing a police base at a local supermarket
- Established a children's centre providing parenting courses and increasing the number of youth activities
- The Halcon estate has seen a 28% drop in crime since Murphy's reforms
The think tank uses this case study as an example of the effectiveness of small-scale and "locally-minded" projects.
More top news
The Duchess of Cambridge will meet the president of Singapore in her first official engagement since she announced her second pregnancy
People are being urged to look out for their neighbours this winter in a bid to reduce the number of deaths during the cold weather.
International Development Secretary Justine Greening is to visit an Ebola training academy and a treatment facility in Sierra Leone.