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Research units

The Crime and Security Research Institute brings together multi-disciplinary expertise from across Cardiff University via our four renowned research units.

Universities' Police Science Institute (UPSI)

The Universities' Police Science Institute (UPSI) was established in 2007 in partnership with South Wales Police to develop the research evidence base for the art, craft and science of policing.

Since its inception it has secured in excess of £5million external funding from various policing and governmental agencies. Combining academic rigour with a strong focus upon policy and practice, it has achieved international renown for its innovations in designing, developing and assessing new solutions to policing problems.

The Institute's work ranges from 'problem-finding' to 'problem-solving' across the full spectrum of policing. Recently, UPSI’s research into the trialling of facial recognition software by South Wales Police made international headlines and was used as evidence in the world’s first high court judgement on police use of this technology.

Violence Research Group (VRG)

The Violence Research Group (VRG) has brought policy change and practical actions to reduce violence and alcohol related harms in the UK and abroad.

Their research focuses on:

  • understanding the causes of violence and producing real-world applications to help prevent it
  • research of the pathways into alcohol use and misuse, including their life-course effects on health and well-being
  • examining violence prevention initiatives, working with service providers - health agencies, social services, criminal justice agencies, local government and voluntary sector
  • evaluating the effectiveness of interventions designed to reduce the psychological, social and economic impacts of violence and alcohol misuse.

The group's strength and reputation comes from interdisciplinary research across the fields of medicine, public health, dentistry, criminal justice, police, psychology, materials science and economics.

Distributed Analytics and Information Science (DAIS) Group

The Distributed Analytics and Information Science (DAIS) research group, unlocks the potential of “big data” and “fast data” in front line situations, where people and computer systems need to collaborate in a coalition of multiple agencies. DAIS research is making advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning and network science to improve the capabilities of technology to assist coalitions working together in rapidly-changing situations, such as major disasters, to make people safer.

The DAIS group brings together colleagues from Cardiff’s College of Engineering and Physical Sciences with specialist expertise in artificial intelligence, machine learning, social computing, signal processing and distributed computing.

Open Source Communications, Analytics Research (OSCAR) Programme

The Open Source Communications Analytics Research (OSCAR) programme is our interdisciplinary approach to understanding and researching the security challenges and opportunities posed by the development of social media and the new information environment.

Funded by UK and international governments, as well as UK research councils, the OSCAR work has generated evidence and insights about how police and security agencies need to reconfigure their processes and systems to respond to the new media ecosystem, as well as testing and applying innovative methodologies to real world events.

The Cardiff team working on these issues includes social and behavioural scientists, working in close collaboration with data and computer scientists. The initial research in this area focused upon social reactions to major terror attacks, more recently it has evolved to focus upon the causes and consequences of disinformation campaigns and information, interference and influence operations.