What Works in Crime Reduction conference

The UCL Jill Dando Institute organised this conference on 24th January 2017 at the British Library to mark the end of the Comissioned Partnership Programme, which has supported the What Works Centre for Crime Reduction.

This event marked the end of the Commissioned Partnership Programme, a three-year funded research programme (supported by the Economic and Social Research Council and the College of Policing) as part of the College What Works Centre. 
The What Works Centre for Crime Reduction is part of a network of What Works Centres created to provide robust and comprehensive evidence to guide decision-making on public spending by:

  • reviewing research on practices and interventions to reduce crime
  • labelling the evidence on interventions in terms of quality, cost, impact, why, where and how it works as well as implementation issues
  • providing Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and other crime reduction stakeholders with the knowledge, tools and guidance to help them target their resources more effectively.

The conference highlighted outputs from the Commissioned Partnership Programme research which included:

  • an assesment of  the quality of the existing crime reduction evidence base
  • new systematic reviews of the evidence base on topics ranging from domestic abuse to mentoring, mediation and peer support and alley gating
  • the Crime Reduction Toolkit which now showcases over 40 interventions allowing users to weigh up evidence on the impact, cost and implementation of different interventions
  • guidance for practitioners on how to undertake cost analysis of interventions
  • a training programme for police and practitioners to equip them with the capability to understand, critique and make effective use of evidence
  • primary research on topics such as domestic abuse, safer smart cities, the use of crime prevention messaging and the prevention of violent extremism.

Key speakers included:

  • Alex Marshall, CEO of the College of Policing
  • David Halpern, National Adviser on What Works, Cabinet Office
  • Professor Malcolm Sparrow, Harvard University
  • Sarah Thornton, Head of the National Police Chiefs' Council
  • Professor Mike Kelly, Cambridge University
  • Phil Sooben, Deputy Chief Executive and Director for Policy and Research, ESRC.

The future of the 'What Works' enterprise as far as crime reduction is concerned, was discussed in an important final panel session chaired by Professor Dame Shirley Pearce, former Chair of the College of Policing Board.