UCL News


UCL in the News: 'Knowledge transfer' next big thing in crime watch

27 June 2007

A university project founded in memory of the late television presenter Jill Dando is reaching out to co-operate with the insurance market in seeking ways to deploy the latest techniques to thwart terrorism and large-scale crime on land and at sea.

Work at UCL encouraging scientific solutions will be highlighted through an International Crime Science Conference said to be the first of its kind at the British Library on July 16 and 17. …

The organisers want to exchange ideas with underwriters and brokers which in London and internationally have a professional interest in helping minimise risk.

The UCL Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science has been fostering a more scientific approach to the threats of organised crime and terrorism since being set up with a GBP1m ($2m) grant in 2001 to carry out research and consultancy. …

In 2006, the university intensified its contribution by setting up the UCL Centre for Security and Crime Science to focus on specialities including information and computer security, transport and infrastructure 'the sheer scale and accessibility of transport make it uniquely vulnerable', says the department surveillance and monitoring, and terrorism. …

Gloria Laycock, who established and directs both the institute and the centre, … said that crime science was about reducing risk, detecting crime and gathering data on patterns in crime. 'This is not about throwing money at technology. We need to look at human factors and motivations.' …

Prof Laycock said of the event: 'I hope there will be some really useful connections made between practitioners not just police and security services but producers of goods and academics to learn what technologies are being developed.

'We have to have new approaches to helping UK plc.

'Being able to engage with insurance professionals as we develop our teaching and research programmes will be enormously helpful.

'Academics like solving problems, but we would like to know more about what problems need solutions.'

'Financial Times'