The policing minister has said he hopes a new crime research centre set up at The University of Northampton will play a “significant role” in reducing crime in the UK.
The Institute for Public Safety, Crime and Justice (IPSCJ), the first of its kind in the country, is a joint venture between the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) for Northamptonshire and the town’s university.
The institute, which will cost £500,000 in the first year and will be funded by the OPCC and the university for the first three years, will employ 12 people, including eight researchers who will analyse data from Northamptonshire Police to come up with ideas to reduce crime.
It has not been confirmed what the funding split is between the univeristy and the OPCC.
Damian Green, the minister responsible for policing who attended the launch of the institute on Tuesday morning, said: “The ability to spread best practice and new ideas around policing is really important to make ensure we have continuous improvement in the way we fight crime in this country.
“I think the institute will play quite a significant role in achieving that. It will be really interesting to see the ideas the centre comes up with.
“Clearly having more people to research the different types of crime and help make our streets safer is a good thing.”
Sarah Armstrong-Hallam, research manager for the social services department at the university, said job adverts had been placed for the researcher positions and the institute was likely to start coming up with ideas from June onwards.
She said: “Our role will be as a “critical friend” to Northamptonshire Police and we will have more credibility as we are not embedded into the force.”
Geoff Berry, associate director of the institute, said: “It is a major development and is the first of its kind in the UK. It is part of a major push to embed evidence into how the police does things.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds said it was an exciting day for the community, the police and the University of Northampton and said he hoped the institute would last for many years.
He said: “Today is a very important day as it is a rare chance for me to leave something behind.
“I hope this research centre lasts 20 years or more.”