Innovation project for West Yorkshire (3 Oct 2014)

A 12-month project is underway, designed to bring innovation to policing across the county.

Funding of £125,000 from the Economic and Social Research Council will help create opportunities for research, information sharing and skills training, developing a platform for knowledge exchange between West Yorkshire Police, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and the University of Leeds.

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.

The police aspect of the project is being led by 'West Yorkshire for Innovation' (WyFi), a ground-breaking research and development team of 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."

Professor Adam Crawford, of the School of Law, who is leading the University of Leeds team, commented: "This is an exciting moment in policing as we set out on a journey to build a stronger partnership of collaboration and a more robust evidence base on which police can draw. We see this as a pilot project that will hopefully alter dramatically relations between police and universities in years to come with benefits in knowledge creation, innovation and learning that will impact on policing across West Yorkshire." 

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