Innovation Award for Social, Cultural or Policy Impact
UPSI’s pioneering research has changed the way that the police respond to crime and disorder within communities. This work has been recognised by an award for policy impact and innovation.
For the past six years researchers at the Universities’ Police Science Institute (UPSI), led by Professor Martin Innes, have been conducting a research program designed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of Neighbourhood Policing.
This Institute’s pioneering community intelligence research, underpinned by Martin Innes' Signal Crimes theory has made police more effective at understanding and responding to the crime and disorder problems driving insecurity within and across different communities. UPSI’s work has provided an evidence base about how to engage effectively with communities so that policing interventions target those issues that influence how people think, feel and act about their safety.
A significant impact of this research has been improving the efficacy of Neighbourhood Policing using a program of face-to-face interviews with the public. The results of a 2008 pilot study in Cardiff led to the approach being integrated across the whole of South Wales as part of a strategy to improve public confidence. A notable success of this work was Operation Michigan where interviews generated ‘community intelligence’ about a drugs market that police were unaware of, ultimately resulting in: 184 individuals arrested for Class A drug supply; A 36% reduction in serious acquisitive crime in the target areas and 25% reduction in Anti-social Behaviour (ASB).
The methodology has been adopted by South Wales Police and the Safer Sutton Partnership as integral to their delivery of neighbourhood policing. It has also been used by Victoria Police in Australia, The Police Academy of the Netherlands, Lancashire Constabulary and ten other UK police agencies.
UPSI’s 2010 report to HMIC Re-thinking the Policing of Anti-Social Behaviour advised focusing on the harms of ASB, and adopting a more victim-centered approach in the policing of ASB. The findings informed a fundamental change to Home Office policy, resulting in widespread improvements to police responsiveness for victims in England and Wales.
UPSI’s work with the Association of Chief Police Officers assessing the effectiveness of ‘Prevent’ policing in reducing the risks of terrorist attacks, shaped the Coalition government’s counter-terrorism strategy. The study, which looked at data from the British Crime Survey alongside in depth interviews with counter-terrorism police and local community members, found that community engagement through neighborhood policing was the best way to understand and respond to the risks of violent extremism within communities.