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International Crime and Intelligence Analysis Conference 26-27 February 2015, Manchester: Call for abstracts


SCS News

Understanding Theft of 'Hot Products'. Problem-Oriented Guides for Police, COPS, US Department of Justice

The Problem-Oriented Guides for Police summarize knowledge about how police can reduce the harm caused by specific crime and disorder problems. They are guides to preventing problems and improving overall incident response, not to investigating offenses or handling specific incidents. More...

Copper Cable Theft - Revisting the Price- Theft Hypothesis

To test the commonly espoused but little examined hypothesis that fluctuations in the price of metal are associated with changes in the volume of metal theft.

Consistency and specificity in burglars who commit prolific residential burglary: Testing the core assumptions underpinning behavioural crime linkage

Behavioural crime linkage is underpinned by two assumptions: (a) that offenders exhibit some degree of consistency in the way they commit offences (their modus operandi [MO]); and, (b) that offenders can be differentiated on the basis of their offence behaviour. The majority of existing studies sample at most three crimes from an offender's series of detected crimes and do not examine whether patterns differ across offenders. Here, we examine patterns observed across the entire detected series of each sampled offender, and assess how homogeneous patterns are across offenders. More...

Human trafficking for labour exploitation: Innovative approaches to prevention, prediction and protection

Dr Ella Cockbain has recently been awarded a prestigious Economic and Social Research Council Future Research Leaders Fellowship. The award is for a three-year study into trafficking for labour exploitation, under the mentorship of Professor Kate Bowers. The project is designed to improve understanding of and responses to labour trafficking, which is a recognised priority in the Home Office’s counter-organised crime strategy and research agendum. Key foci include assessing the scope, nature and impacts of labour trafficking and developing predictive models of risk, using empirically-substantiated individual- and area-level risk factors. A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods will support a nuanced, multi-faceted assessment of this complex issue. The study will include a three-month international placement at the Netherlands Centre for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement. The project has the support of the UK Human Trafficking Centre, the National Crime Agency and the Dutch National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings. More...

An exploratory study of the sexual exploitation of boys and young men in the UK

We are pleased to announce UCL’s participation in a Nuffield-funded study into the sexual exploitation of boys and young men. UCL is working with Barnardo’s and NatCen Social Research on this collaborative project, designed to find out more about the characteristics of male victims, their exploitation and support needs. This scoping study is the first of its kind in the UK to focus specifically on male victims. UCL researchers are conducting a large-scale analysis of over 9,000 suspected CSE cases (led by UCL’s principal investigator Dr Ella Cockbain) and an evidence assessment (led by Dr Helen Brayley). Our partners at NatCen (the consortium lead) are conducting in-depth interviews with professionals. We are working with young people and practitioners to receive feedback on our findings. The study is expected to inform responses to male victims, who have often been overlooked in research, policy and practice. More...

What Works: Commissioned Partnership Programme


What Works Centre

 What Works Centre for Crime Reduction

The government has selected the College of Policing to host the What Works Centre for Crime Reduction - part of a world-leading network of centres providing robust, comprehensive evidence to guide public spending decisions.

The What Works Centre for Crime Reduction will:

  • review research on practices and interventions to reduce crime
  • label the evidence base in terms of quality, cost and impact
  • provide Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and other crime reduction stakeholders with the knowledge, tools and guidance to help them target their resources more effectively.

It will be led by a core team from the College of Policing, and supported by a "commissioned partnership programme" which has been jointly funded by the College and the Economic and Social Research Council.

The table below outlines a range of potential benefits from the Centre's introduction.



More informed decisions Evidence will be translated into practical insights that the police service and their partners can easily use
Better value for money Guidance will be clear, helping decision-makers to access and apply the evidence locally to make choices about where to spend and disinvest
Reassurance and accountability Sharing knowledge about "what works" with the public will help build confidence in the police service and its crime reduction partners
Collaboration and partnership Links will be strengthened between the police service, crime reduction partners and the academic sector
Prevention, not reaction Evidence will be provided on the most effective approaches that can help prevent crime

For more information about the What Works Centre for Crime Reduction please contact Nicky Miller or Mark Abram at the College of Policing.

Research programme

What Works Centre for Crime Reduction: Commissioned Partnership Programme

The commissioned partnership programme will deliver work to support the What Works Centre for Crime Reduction, helping the College of Policing to become an evidence-based professional body.

The programme started in September 2013 and will focus on:

• mapping and assessing the quality of the evidence base
• ranking and labelling interventions in terms of quality, cost and impact
• training for practitioners on evidence appraisal and an evaluation of the Centre's overall effectiveness.

Commissioned partnership programme: list of work packages

Work package


1.List of systematic reviews A comprehensive listing will be made of systematic reviews on crime reduction topics to establish a common database of knowledge on searches and expert consultation.
2. Mapping and evidence synthesis Systematic mapping and full synthesis of the evidence across a range of specified crime reduction priority areas will be undertaken. At a minimum, a qualitative synthesis will be expected for every topic, complemented by a quantitative synthesis if sufficient evidence exists.
3. Development of decision criteria A comparative labelling scheme will be developed, using a consistent evaluation standard to rate and rank the effectiveness of interventions and the overall cost-saving.
4. Application of criteria to reviews A taxonomy will be developed of ranked and labelled interventions. This will be developed by applying the criteria to each systematic review identified from work packages 1 and 2.
5. Developing advice on costing interventions Detailed guidance will be produced for practitioners on how to undertake cost analysis of specific interventions.
6. Design of a development programme on crime reduction evidence appraisal A development programme will be produced to equip practitioners with the capability to understand, critique and make effective use of evidence.
7. Deliver a pilot of the programme (to police practitioners) A pilot of the development programme will be undertaken to assess how far its aims and objectives have been met.
8. Primary research The programme will support primary research on a topic to be decided in collaboration between the grant holder(s) and partners.
9. Test impact of the What Works Centre on decision-making An evaluation of the overall effectiveness of the Centre will be undertaken.

Project Partners

The three-year commissioned partnership programme is co-funded by the College of Policing and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

The consortium comprises University College London (UCL), the Institute of Education (IoE), the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Birkbeck College, and Cardiff, Dundee, Surrey and Southampton universities.

For more information on the institutions and individuals involved in this work please use the following links:

Professor Gloria Laycock - Director of the Commissioned Partnership Programme

Professor Nick Tilley – Deputy Director

Professor Shane Johnson

Professor Kate Bowers

Professor Richard Wortley

Dr Aiden Sidebottom

Dr Jyoti Belur

Lisa Tompson

Dr Phil Edwards

Professor Ian Roberts

Rebecca Steinbach

Professor Mike Hough

Gill Hunter

Tiggey May

Tim McSweeney

Ali Wigzell

Professor Martin Innes

Professor Mike Levi

Dr Amanda Robinson

Professor Jenny Fleming

Professor David Gough – 

Carol Vigurs – 

Dr Karen Schuchan

Professor Nick Fyfe 

Professor Nigel Fielding

Dr Karen Bullock

Dr Jane Fielding


Outputs from the Commissioned Partnership Programme will be available here:

Page last modified on 17 mar 14 12:20