Grangetown Community Gateway: Safer Grangetown


Funder: Cardiff University

Cardiff University’s pioneering Community Gateway project is working to build a long-term partnership with residents of Grangetown in Cardiff to create an even better place to live and work. The programme facilitates co-produced projects which respond to local needs and mutually benefit the community and University through the development of research, teaching and volunteering opportunities.


Researchers from The Universities’ Police Science Institute (UPSI), in collaboration with Grangetown residents conducted a study which utilised the UPSI’s innovative community intelligence tool ‘SENSOR’. SENSOR is a is a tablet based data capture application that allows users to identify and target the issues that have a disproportionate impact upon neighbourhood security. SENSOR builds on CSRI Director Martin Innes’ ‘Signal Crimes’ theory which finds that the public’s sense of being ‘at risk’ of crime is not determined solely by the ‘volume’ of offending in an area, but also the ‘impact’ that single incidents have upon their collective risk perceptions and ultimately how they think, feel and act. The study identified litter as negatively impacting perceptions of safety in Grangetown.

Dr. Mhairi McVicar, the Community Gateway project Lead, has secured a grant to fund the 'Rethinking Litter in our Communities' project, which will take place as part of Grand Challenges week. During the week, students collaborated with Community Gateway partnerships to suggest physical, social, digital and environmental ideas to eliminate litter.

Trudy Lowe, Helen Innes and Catherine King presented “Safer Grangetown: Understanding Community Perceptions” at the first ‘Community Gateway Engaged Research’ and shared ideas at the Grangetown Festival.  

Focus Group

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Following on from the study, members of the UPSI team ran a focus group at the Grange Pavilion as part of the Grangetown Community Gateway project, under the theme of ‘Safer Grangetown.’

The aim of the focus group was to engage with those living and working in Grangetown to discuss what they feel are the key crime and disorder issues affecting their local neighbourhood. Participants were encouraged to talk about issues impacting on their sense of community safety and were asked to plot on a map where these issues are located.

The focus group centred around an interactive activity designed and led by CUROP students Cat King and Freya Cox.  This practical activity enabled the signals to be visualised and collected together on a map of Grangetown ward.

The focus group was facilitated by three young people from the Grangetown Youth Forum who showed keen enthusiasm for the project and were trained to become SENSOR Champions in their community. Their contributions were invaluable: one of the participants said at the beginning of the focus group she felt a little unsure about the interactive activity, but with the Champion’s help, she felt far more comfortable and able to fully participate.

The focus group data was analysed by researchers from the Crime and Security Research Institute and a summary report was created for the Grangetown Community Gateway project team to share with local residents, in order to inform future discussions with local partners.

The report is available for download below.

Click here to read more about the CUROP placements

Click here to read more about the Community Gateway project