Joint Policing Research Centre Announcement

We are delighted to share the news that the Vulnerability and Policing Futures Research Centre has been announced by the universities of York and Leeds.

Dedicated to better understanding how the police and other services can prevent and reduce vulnerabilities, the £10m research centre is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Co-directed by our colleague and former LSSI Director Professor Adam Crawford (School of Law) and Professor Charlie Lloyd (Department of Social Work and Social Policy, University of York), the Centre will be an international focal point for research, policy, practice and public debate and explore how the police, public service providers (such as health, social care and housing) and other partner organisations can collaborate to prevent and respond to changing vulnerabilities and inequalities. Congratulations to Professors Lloyd and Crawford and the centre team (including Leeds colleagues Deputy Director Dr Dan Birks, Dr Laura Bainbridge, Prof Iyiola Solanke and Prof Mark Mon-Williams).

As part of the UKRI announcement, Professor Crawford said “We are really excited about working with such a strong team of interdisciplinary scholars and professionals from diverse public and third sector organisations. Together, we will build the knowledge base and co-produce innovative services that address the causes and compounding effects of contemporary vulnerabilities, and harness the distinctive contributions of different service providers to promote prevention and harm reduction through joined-up, problem-based strategies.

“This demands that we rethink the role and contribution of the police and partners within multi-agency responses to vulnerability, and forge an evidence base that will underpin new policies and practices that provide protection to the most vulnerable in society.”

The Centre itself is in collaboration with an extensive network of 38 police, non-governmental organisations, local and national government partners, taking forward an important collaborative research agenda.

This major strategic investment reflects the strength of the highly interdisciplinary and impact orientated approach to societal challenges taken by LSSI, and fulfils ESRC’s ambition of the scheme to tackle critical societal issues. At this time of unprecedented change to public services, police workloads are increasingly at the frontline of managing the risk of harm to the most vulnerable in society.

In response to the announcement, LSSI Director Professor Louise Waite said “We are delighted for Adam, Charlie and the team that this important research has been funded. This investment by ESRC is important recognition of the need for well-integrated interdisciplinary social science to respond to some of our most complex societal challenges, and reflects on the dedication and genuine partnership and deep stakeholder engagement which has led to the co-design of this innovative and timely research programme. It is a true synthesis of important theoretical and conceptual development alongside a central tenet of engagement for real world change. We look forward to continuing to work with colleagues as the centre addresses how vulnerabilities interact and shape demand for policing.”

Over the coming months the Centre will appoint six post-doctoral research fellows, along with key professional support staff, including a Communications and Engagement Officer to be based at Leeds, cohorts of data interns and six Associated PhD collaborative studentships (three based at Leeds).

Find out more by visiting the Vulnerability and Policing Futures Research Centre’s webpages.