Back to the Future: early intervention and prevention

EMPAC is pleased  to announce a key round table coming up in January 2019, hosted by the University of Northampton, on the vital role of early intervention and prevention. The University of Northampton are playing a leading role on this often overlooked aspect of policing, to bring to the fore the importance of working together to prevent crime rather than just picking up the pieces after the event.

Without prevention, policing is increasingly overwhelmed by a reactive storm, that just gets worse and worse, eventually creating a form of ‘rationing’ of reactive capacity. Prior to substantial budgetary cuts to policing, there was quite extensive work on prevention and early intervention, supported by Section 17 legislation to bring partners together under the Crime and Disorder Act, 1988. There have been repeated studies that assert that prevention is indeed ‘cheaper than cure’, yet there is a perceived cost to working together. During austerity, many agencies retracted into what they understood to be their ‘core role’, meaning joint working began to erode. In the extremely tight financial situation policing, and other public services, face currently there has never been a better time to remember and act on prevention skills and knowledge. When the focus is mainly on ‘what is to be cut’, there are potential dangers in important prevention work being lost that will cost even more in the longer term.

This facilitated round table, hosted by psychologist Dr Berni Doran, seeks to ask key questions around what forms can early intervention and prevention take in our current context? Indeed this also means asking what have we forgotten and stopped doing now that crime is on the rise again? Part of the opportunity for the current context is the increase in data. Policing and key partners are increasingly ‘data rich’, yet therein lies the challenge of pulling together myriads of different sets of data from various sources in an overview that we make operational sense of and invest time and resources to make a difference – early!

Some core questions that the roundtable will address:

  • what do we mean by joined-up prevention and what does that look like?
  • to what extent is data working for us and helping us operate in a joined-up way, for early intervention and prevention?
  • how can we get a focus on prevention back, in the current environment?
  • how to move from ‘whose role’ and ‘whose data’ to ‘our prevention’

Inspector Caroline Graham, of Leicestershire Police, explains, “today we have perhaps the most information at our fingertips that we’ve ever had to prevent crime and disorder and yet there is so much data from different sources that we need to find ways to join it together and cut through to the key insights that inform the very best interventions and tactics. I’d like the round table help give us insight into the best global level thinking on that, so we can apply that thinking  to keep the public in the East Midlands as safe as possible.”

To come along to this vital event contact berni.doran@northampton.ac.uk for more details. You won’t be surprised, given the topic, we recommend that you book early!

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