Researchers from the University of Salford have won a €3.1 million funding bid to help police across Europe, including Estonia, find innovative ways to improve how they fight crime.
The funding, awarded by the European Commission Horizon 2020 Security Research Programme, will enable a team of academics to work closely with six European law enforcement agencies.
The university’s Design Against Crime Solution Centre will work together with these police forces on the three-year Cutting Crime Impact project to find innovative ways of tackling high-impact crimes, such as physical and sexual assault, robbery, burglary and vandalism.
The academics will train individuals to carry out research within each of the forces, mapping processes, interviewing stakeholders and shadowing officers to collect detailed information about how the police carry out certain roles.
Police forces across Europe will use the project to explore and develop ways to improve neighbourhood policing, to prevent crime through urban design, mapping crime and measuring people’s perception of crime risk.
Once the data on the problems and current policing approaches has been collected, representatives of each force will work with experts from a wide range of disciplines to design and develop innovative ways to address identified issues. Solutions may take a variety of forms – from digital tools, such as apps, to new ways of working or guidance for officers facing specific challenges.
These new toolkits will then be integrated within each of the forces’ operations and demonstrated in a real policing environment. The researchers will monitor how effective the tools are in practice and identify necessary improvements.
The law enforcement agencies working on the project are: the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board; Greater Manchester Police in the UK; the National Police of the Netherlands; the Lisbon Municipal Police in Portugal; the Criminal Police of the Niedersachsen region in Germany; and the Interior Ministry of Catalonia, Spain.
The University of Salford, tracing its history back to 1850, is a public research university in Greater Manchester, the UK.
Cover: Nadežda and Arno from the Estonian Police (the image is illustrative/Estonian Police).