The Violence and Society Research Group

The Violence and Society Research Group has helped bring about practical action to reduce violent assault injuries at a local, national and international level.

It was awarded one of the Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education in 2009.

The group was founded in 1991 after maxillofacial surgeon Jonathan Shepherd found he was treating ever-more assault victims suffering broken jaws and cheekbones. Many of these cases were never even reported to the police.

Professor Shepherd said: "There were people on my operating table every week, injured by someone who was never brought to book. It was a real shock to discover that large numbers of violent offences were not known to the police."

Early research showed that the police never got to hear about seven out of every eight assaults in hospital premises which led to hospital treatment. Clearly, further study – and further action – was needed.  

Today, the group has 11 core members, combining expertise in Medicine, Psychology, Business and Dentistry. Their achievements include:

  • Identifying previously unknown causes of violence, violence hot-spots and weapons
  • The creation of the Cardiff Violence Prevention Group, sharing information with police, health services and other bodies to achieve a reduction in violence. This model has now been adopted across the UK
  • Development of new care programmes for victims and offenders

Between them, group members have published findings in more than 420 papers in leading journals. They lead national and international research networks and have introduced violence prevention to undergraduate dental courses. 

Their academic innovation and expertise has been recognised with awards including: