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Police cuts could damage ‘the economic and social well-being of Welsh communities’, warns policing expert

13 July 2010

Cutting community safety programmes and police numbers during the recession could have a disproportionate impact on the long-term economic and social well-being of communities across Wales, a policing expert will warn today (Tuesday 13th July).

Director of the Universities’ Police Science Institute (UPSI) at Cardiff University, Professor Martin Innes will tell a briefing of AMs that the combined effect of the recession and police cuts could effect the economic resilience of neighbourhoods and corrode levels of community cohesion.

"A great deal of good, positive and productive work by community groups, community safety partnerships and Police forces across Wales, means there has been considerable progress in cutting acts of anti-social behaviour," Professor Innes will say. "However, research by the Universities Police Science Institute (UPSI) confirms that anti-social behaviour involving young people remains the biggest fear for people living in communities across South Wales.

"If anything, work to tackle anti-social behaviour has been given extra urgency by the recession. Our research shows that a failure to tackle anti-social behaviour can have potentially long-term serious impacts upon the long-term economic and social well-being of communities. Such behaviour can cause fear that leads to people retreating from public spaces or to look to move away completely from an area.

"These kinds of consequences damage the economic resilience of neighbourhoods and corrode levels of community cohesion. Such impacts are likely to become more common in the current climate where the stress on communities is already mounting."

Professor Innes is one of the UK’s leading policing experts. He has recently 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 Anti-Social Behaviour (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 Innes will add: "It is clear there will be considerable central government pressure to cut public spending on community safety and policing services.

"Whilst some of this is inevitable perhaps even desirable - care must be taken not to cut too deeply in a way that inhibits the capacity to deal effectively with ASB problems in our communities.

"The work we have been conducting shows how by collecting community intelligence from the public about their key ASB issues and priorities in neighbourhoods, and targeting resources to these problems at a local level, police and community safety partnerships can perform highly impactive interventions in a cost effective manner that respond directly to public needs.

"In so doing, they can significantly reduce the short and long-term harm that ASB does to community confidence."

Professor Innes will deliver his briefing at the National Assembly today - Tuesday 13th July - at 12.30 in Conference Room 24, Ground Floor Assembly Building, Cardiff Bay. The briefing is part of a series of Cardiff University briefings open to all AMs and hosted by the Assembly Member for Cardiff Central, Jenny Randerson.



For further information or to interview Professor Innes, please contact:

Chris Jones
Public Relations
Cardiff University
Tel: 029 20 874731

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:

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.