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08 April 2008
A Cardiff crime partnership which cut violent crime in late-night drinking trouble spots has been recommended as a model for other cities in a new Government action plan.
The Home Office’s Violent Crime Action Plan praises the work of Cardiff Community Safety Partnership in pinpointing and targeting violence hot spots as "best practice" for the rest of the country.
The Cardiff Partnership was established in 1996, by facial surgeon Professor Jonathan Shepherd, who was appalled at the number of victims of late night drink-related violence who ended up on NHS operating tables. Professor Shepherd, of Cardiff University’s School of Dentistry, was shocked when his research showed many of the cases he dealt with were never even reported to the police. Often the perpetrator was not investigated, let alone brought to justice.
Following this research, the Cardiff Community Safety Partnership was formed to use information from A&E injury cases to help the police build up a more accurate picture of violent crime. For the first time, they were able to identify and target pubs and clubs at peak times for violence, spot trends in weapons use and identify potential victims. There was a 31 per cent decrease in assaults in city centre licensed premises and by 2006 a 40 per cent fall in assault patients seeking emergency treatment.
The Government’s new Violent Crime Action Plan, Saving Lives, Reducing Harm, Protecting the Public, is the first of its kind to focus on serious violence, setting out a range of measures to cut homicide, knife, gun and gang-related crime and sexual and domestic violence. The Plan reveals that work is under way to develop the Cardiff model more widely. It recommends all Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships develop methods of sharing information from health services to help police target resources more effectively.
Professor Shepherd, director of Cardiff University’s Violence and Society Research Group, said: "The Violent Crime Action Plan is a welcome initiative in reducing the serious emotional and physical harm which can result from violence. In Cardiff, our partnership strategy has helped make violent crime rates the lowest for cities our size. The Action Plan has highlighted the important parts of our approach and I hope to see it show similar results in other cities."
DENTL1 home office
Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. It is also ranked as one of the world’s top 100 universities by the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES).
2008 marks the 125th anniversary of Cardiff University having been founded by Royal Charter in 1883. Today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning.
Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s leading research universities.
Visit the University website at: www.cardiff.ac.uk
The Violence and Society Research Group website is at:
Professor Jonathan Shepherd
School of Dentistry
Telephone 029 20742442
Mobile 07779 490022
Tel: 029 20874499
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