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University expert to examine ways to improve recording of anti-social behaviour

11 March 2010

For immediate release

A Cardiff University policing expert will lead a review designed to improve the way police forces across England and Wales record and act on persistent acts of Anti-Social behaviour (ASB).

Professor Martin Innes, who is the Director of the Universities' Police Science Institute (UPSI), has been commissioned by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) to work alongside Ipsos MORI to develop a new framework to help police forces respond more effectively to acts of ASB.

The review will seek to integrate the best research on victims and ideas and how the police can develop a framework to operationalise the knowledge they collect on ASB.

Professor Martin Innes said: "Our previous research for Her Majesty’s Inspector identified the real and corrosive harm that ASB does to individuals and communities.

"We are now moving forward to develop a robust evidence-base about ASB and its effects in order to help police improve their response to this key social problem."

The review comes after Denis O’Connor, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary raised concerns about the way police forces in England and Wales report ASB.

He said that the police database of information about ASB incidents is inadequate and should be improved as a matter of urgency. He also said that police systems vary in their ability to identify repeat victims and vulnerable victims and over half cannot identify repeat victims via automatic IT systems and rely on manual trawls.

Overall, he argued that almost all forces are unable to automatically identify victims who have previously been deemed vulnerable. Consequently officers attending reports of ASB may not be aware of the previous history and is likely to affect the way the incident is dealt with.

Professor Martin Innes added: "There is real evidence, underpinned by the British Crime Survey that, as exposure to ASB increases, confidence in the police declines. Some 4 out of 5 people said that the ASB was having a high impact on their quality of life.

"We can also see that ASB is one of the key determinants of confidence in the police generally. This review will help us look at those police systems to develop a new framework to ensure that the public can regain confidence in the reporting of ASB."



To interview Professor Innes, please contact:

Professor Martin Innes
Director of the Universities' Police Science Institute (UPSI)
Cardiff University
Tel: 02920 875307


Chris Jones
Public Relations
Cardiff University
Tel: 029 20 874731

2. Universities' Police Science Institute (UPSI)
The Universities’ Police Science Institute (UPSI) has achieved international renown for its innovative and ground-breaking research on policing. Based upon a unique partnership between Cardiff University, South Wales Police and the University of Glamorgan, UPSI works to develop the research evidence-base about all aspects of the art, craft and science of policing. Studies conducted by UPSI engage with theoretical, methodological and applied themes and has achieved national and international impact.

Further information is available at:

3. Cardiff University
Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, Professor Sir Martin Evans.

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.