The involvement of health and social care agencies in crime reduction partnerships remains key to government strategy despite a growing awareness of the equivocal outcomes of inter-agency working in other settings. This paper reports findings from a literature review designed to assess the extent to which existing crime reduction partnerships have been able to overcome the barriers to joint working. The review focuses in particular on Drug (and Alcohol) Action Teams (D(A)ATs), Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs), Multi-Agency Public Protection-Arrangements (MAPPAs) and Youth Offending Teams (YOTs). A comprehensive review of published and unpublished literature suggests that these bodies have experienced similar difficulties to those highlighted in the broader partnership literature. The review further suggests that differences in ethical and professional outlook may be the most critical of these barriers as well as being the least explicitly addressed by recent government interventions. More work is required to build a consensus regarding the ethical underpinnings and fundamental objectives of partnerships across the care-control divide.