Innovation and investment in policing with new ESRC funding


A new University of Leeds project is set to bring innovation to policing across West Yorkshire.

The aim of the year-long project, which has secured funding of £125,000 from the Economic and Social Research Council, is to help create opportunities for research, information sharing and skills training, so that knowledge can be exchanged between a research team at the University of Leeds, West Yorkshire Police and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire.

It will focus on four key themes: Partnerships and Culture Change, Understanding Acquisitive Crime such as burglary and shoplifting, Community Engagement and also Public Order.

Professor Adam Crawford, of the School of Law, who is leading the University of Leeds team, said: “We are building a stronger partnership of collaboration and a more robust evidence base upon which police can draw. We see this as a pilot project that will transform relationships between police and universities in years to come, with benefits in knowledge creation, innovation and learning that could impact on policing across the United Kingdom.”

Other members of the research team include Stuart Lister, Dr Clifford Stott (both Law) and Dr Nick Malleson, of the School of Geography.

The police aspect of the project is being led by ‘West Yorkshire for Innovation’ (WyFi), a research and development team from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire.

Head of WyFi is Detective Inspector Andrew Staniforth, who said: "This unique project brings academic researchers and police practitioners together to share their expertise. This collaborative approach ensures that rigorous research shall be grounded in the operational reality of policing."

Mark Burns-Williamson, Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire added: "This new research progresses the 3i strategy I launched earlier this year which seeks to develop innovation, income and investment in policing. The findings from this research will add great value to the way in which we keep our communities safe and feeling safe."

Temporary Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, Dee Collins said: "This exciting project will foster greater collaboration between police and academia, enabling greater translation of research into evidence-based practice to develop the service we deliver to the public."

Further information

Professor Adam Crawford is available for interview. Please contact Ben Jones in the University of Leeds press office on 0113 343 8059 or email