Improving community policing
22 May 2013
Pioneering research that has changed the way that the police respond to crime and disorder within communities has been recognised for its impact at the University's prestigious Innovation & Impact Awards.
Led by Professor Martin Innes of the Universities' Police Sciences Institute, based in the School of Social Sciences, the research has provided an evidence base about how the police can engage effectively with communities and helped crack down on serious drug-related crime in South Wales.
Professor Innes was presented with the Award for Social, Cultural or Policy Impact by Doug Liversidge, CEO of Fusion IP in a ceremony at the University where guests included the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones. The awards are sponsored by Geldards Law Firm and Fusion IP.
Over the last six years, Professor Innes' work has improved the outcomes achieved by South Wales Police's Neighbourhood Policing Teams; fundamentally changed the policing of antisocial behaviour across England and Wales; and informed the 'Prevent' counter-terrorism strategy for the UK and overseas.
Based on the research, South Wales Police embarked on a major drug operation, known as Operation Michigan which resulted in 184 individual arrests, prison sentences totalling 200 years, six kilos of heroin, crack and cocaine being seized, a 36 per cent reduction in acquisitive crime and a 25 percent reduction of acts of antisocial behaviour.
Professor Innes said: "In 2009, we embarked on a rolling programme of face-to-face interviews with key members of local communities who are aware of issues facing their communities that the police may not know about.
"Our work led to new insights into public perceptions and experiences of crime, disorder and policing and as a result has enabled the police to become more effective at understanding and responding to the crime and disorder problems driving insecurity within and across different communities.
"Using our method, South Wales Police was able to launch a targeted major drug operation, indentifying individuals and their whereabouts and cracking down on serious drugs related crime. Without this work, the police may have taken much longer to establish this specific drugs market."
South Wales Police Chief Constable Peter Vaughan said: "The research led to a shift in policy across the whole of England and Wales, a change in direction in the way that we did business. We've seen definite impact and the University were involved in delivering that message to basic command units across the UK."
The Innovation and Impact Awards Competition is organised by the Cardiff University Innovation Network; the business/university network established in 1996. They provide an opportunity for Cardiff academic staff to showcase their innovative collaborations with business and other non-academic organisations, demonstrating the positive impact that universities can have on economy and society.