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Centre for Crime, Justice and
Policing: An Overview
Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay
Looking Back
• The University of Birmingham has a long tradition
of high-quality research and engagement in
crime, justice and policing
• However, till recently, it was conducted
individually or in small teams
• About 3 years ago, a grant application brought
many of us together
• A loose network was formed and cross
disciplinary working and joint grant applications
became more common
Looking back
• Through successful collaboration across
disciplines, the group became more cohesive
• Also linked in with external partners, both
academic and practice oriented (e.g. Better
Policing Collaborative)
• The cohesive identity was formalised as the
Centre for Crime, Justice and Policing one year
ago
• Today, the diversity of the research is by itself
testimony to the breadth and depth of the
Centre’s research.
What sets us apart?
• There are other centres of excellence in CJS
• Typically led by small cohesive groups specialising
in certain areas
• Our centre is notable for the way we have
transcended disciplinary boundaries
• Interdisciplinary not for its own sake but because
big problems in the CJS require cross disciplinary
expertise
• Work with other parts of the University e.g. RAV
group to research the problems of global
violence, especially against women and children
Why interdisciplinary research?
• Criminal justice faces ever more challenges
today
• Official figures show a drop in police recorded
crime in the UK but the distribution of crime
shows a more complex pattern
• The phenomenal increase in cybercrime is
challenging even the way we conceptualise
and observe acquisitive and personal crime in
the digital era
Why interdisciplinary?
• Areas of emerging political instability and conflict
interact with existing criminal networks to present risks
not only to personal security but to basic state
functions
• This presents problems that goes beyond the remit of
one discipline
• Needs a new breed of research-e.g. social science
insights with systems engineering
• This is what the Centre achieves-a place where scholars
from economics, psychology, law, public health, social
policy, computer science, geography (the list goes on)
can interact and collaborate.
Academic Policy interface
• Academics don’t just interact with each other
• We work with practitioners and policy makers:
police, social workers, Home Office, MoJ,
Think Tanks
• Using different models, we produce research
that is rigorous and relevant
• From the conceptual end (what is harm?) to
policy evaluations, the Centre’s research is
wide ranging.
Research in the Centre: Examples
• ‘What works’ in reducing DV?
• Suspect prioritisation
• Helping shape strategies to reduce harm for high risk
missing persons (with the University of Liverpool)
• Cyber-crime: Making sense of the evidence around this
growing phenomenon (with University of Derby
scholars)
• Effective use of police resources-Solvability Models
• Linking adverse childhood experiences and adult life
criminality
Research in the Centre
• Analysing effectiveness of custodial alternatives
• Closer co-working of CPS lawyers and police
RASSO units in case processing of sexual offences
• The Public Health Burden of Violence
• Effect of alcohol on memory for traumatic events
• Understanding the actors that process cases:
Prosecutors
• Designing prisons for well being
• Assessing how police handle calls (THRIVE)
Research in the Centre
• Criminal justice work in the law school relates to a
broad range of topics from the substantive
requirements of counter-terrorism and law regulating
extreme pornography to issues regulating procedure
and evidence (with particular specialisation in crown
courts and legal aid)
• Strength in supra-national criminal law and structures
focusing on transnational crimes such as terrorism and
trafficking human beings, EU related developments and
international criminal law and justice.
Activities and Achievements
• We have delivered on an ambitious set of work packages for
the Police Knowledge Fund which has led to strengthening our
practice networks and led to follow on funding
• We continue to build a strategic partnership with our nearest
neighbour – West Midlands Police
• Several research consultancy contracts to evaluation
interventions in the area of policing and rehabilitation (incl.
domestic violence and sexual offences, missing persons,
support for female offenders)
• Academic Advisory Group – a police-academic group that
meets to develop innovative approaches to tackling crimes
such as on-line CSA.
Activities and Achievements
• Centre’s work and several of our collaborators featured in the POLFED
and ITN production ‘Above and Beyond’ for the POLFED 2017
conference.
• Media coverage: Expert commentary by Dr Juliane Kloess on teaching
children about porn and sexting featured in article in the Independent.
• Media coverage: Feature article re. Jess Woodhams and her work with
the Police in Mercedes AMG magazine.
• Moves beyond UK CJS, we have links with continental police, Eurojust,
Fairtrials
• Our theme on transnational crime has been selected as theme as part
of the University’s investment in global challenge
Our Future Research Leaders:
Examples of our PhD students’ work
• Aixa Garcia Ramos, in the Department of
Economics is examining the impact of easier
access to divorce in Mexico on IPV
• Katharine Inglis, in the Department of Economics
is analysing the role of risk preferences in the
‘crime gender gap’
• Ariana Matsa, in the Department of Economics is
analysing the complex interaction between crime
and the state of the economy
• Joht Chandan, is looking at the long term health
outcomes of child maltreatment
Looking ahead
• With a current group of researchers that
encompass the whole spectrum of ‘blue sky’
theorists to policy evaluation experts, there is
cause to be optimistic
• Especially when it is supplemented by a
talented group of doctoral researchers
• We hope to continue to play a pivotal role in
understanding and solving the complex
problems of the CJS in the 21st century!

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CCJP Overview IPV2018_CCJP

  • 1. Centre for Crime, Justice and Policing: An Overview Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay
  • 2. Looking Back • The University of Birmingham has a long tradition of high-quality research and engagement in crime, justice and policing • However, till recently, it was conducted individually or in small teams • About 3 years ago, a grant application brought many of us together • A loose network was formed and cross disciplinary working and joint grant applications became more common
  • 3. Looking back • Through successful collaboration across disciplines, the group became more cohesive • Also linked in with external partners, both academic and practice oriented (e.g. Better Policing Collaborative) • The cohesive identity was formalised as the Centre for Crime, Justice and Policing one year ago • Today, the diversity of the research is by itself testimony to the breadth and depth of the Centre’s research.
  • 4. What sets us apart? • There are other centres of excellence in CJS • Typically led by small cohesive groups specialising in certain areas • Our centre is notable for the way we have transcended disciplinary boundaries • Interdisciplinary not for its own sake but because big problems in the CJS require cross disciplinary expertise • Work with other parts of the University e.g. RAV group to research the problems of global violence, especially against women and children
  • 5. Why interdisciplinary research? • Criminal justice faces ever more challenges today • Official figures show a drop in police recorded crime in the UK but the distribution of crime shows a more complex pattern • The phenomenal increase in cybercrime is challenging even the way we conceptualise and observe acquisitive and personal crime in the digital era
  • 6. Why interdisciplinary? • Areas of emerging political instability and conflict interact with existing criminal networks to present risks not only to personal security but to basic state functions • This presents problems that goes beyond the remit of one discipline • Needs a new breed of research-e.g. social science insights with systems engineering • This is what the Centre achieves-a place where scholars from economics, psychology, law, public health, social policy, computer science, geography (the list goes on) can interact and collaborate.
  • 7. Academic Policy interface • Academics don’t just interact with each other • We work with practitioners and policy makers: police, social workers, Home Office, MoJ, Think Tanks • Using different models, we produce research that is rigorous and relevant • From the conceptual end (what is harm?) to policy evaluations, the Centre’s research is wide ranging.
  • 8. Research in the Centre: Examples • ‘What works’ in reducing DV? • Suspect prioritisation • Helping shape strategies to reduce harm for high risk missing persons (with the University of Liverpool) • Cyber-crime: Making sense of the evidence around this growing phenomenon (with University of Derby scholars) • Effective use of police resources-Solvability Models • Linking adverse childhood experiences and adult life criminality
  • 9. Research in the Centre • Analysing effectiveness of custodial alternatives • Closer co-working of CPS lawyers and police RASSO units in case processing of sexual offences • The Public Health Burden of Violence • Effect of alcohol on memory for traumatic events • Understanding the actors that process cases: Prosecutors • Designing prisons for well being • Assessing how police handle calls (THRIVE)
  • 10. Research in the Centre • Criminal justice work in the law school relates to a broad range of topics from the substantive requirements of counter-terrorism and law regulating extreme pornography to issues regulating procedure and evidence (with particular specialisation in crown courts and legal aid) • Strength in supra-national criminal law and structures focusing on transnational crimes such as terrorism and trafficking human beings, EU related developments and international criminal law and justice.
  • 11. Activities and Achievements • We have delivered on an ambitious set of work packages for the Police Knowledge Fund which has led to strengthening our practice networks and led to follow on funding • We continue to build a strategic partnership with our nearest neighbour – West Midlands Police • Several research consultancy contracts to evaluation interventions in the area of policing and rehabilitation (incl. domestic violence and sexual offences, missing persons, support for female offenders) • Academic Advisory Group – a police-academic group that meets to develop innovative approaches to tackling crimes such as on-line CSA.
  • 12. Activities and Achievements • Centre’s work and several of our collaborators featured in the POLFED and ITN production ‘Above and Beyond’ for the POLFED 2017 conference. • Media coverage: Expert commentary by Dr Juliane Kloess on teaching children about porn and sexting featured in article in the Independent. • Media coverage: Feature article re. Jess Woodhams and her work with the Police in Mercedes AMG magazine. • Moves beyond UK CJS, we have links with continental police, Eurojust, Fairtrials • Our theme on transnational crime has been selected as theme as part of the University’s investment in global challenge
  • 13. Our Future Research Leaders: Examples of our PhD students’ work • Aixa Garcia Ramos, in the Department of Economics is examining the impact of easier access to divorce in Mexico on IPV • Katharine Inglis, in the Department of Economics is analysing the role of risk preferences in the ‘crime gender gap’ • Ariana Matsa, in the Department of Economics is analysing the complex interaction between crime and the state of the economy • Joht Chandan, is looking at the long term health outcomes of child maltreatment
  • 14. Looking ahead • With a current group of researchers that encompass the whole spectrum of ‘blue sky’ theorists to policy evaluation experts, there is cause to be optimistic • Especially when it is supplemented by a talented group of doctoral researchers • We hope to continue to play a pivotal role in understanding and solving the complex problems of the CJS in the 21st century!