Institute for Public Safety, Crime and Justice, Northampton

EMPAC is pleased to be able to tell you all about one of our great collaborative members – the Institute for Public Safety, Crime and Justice (IPSCJ) at the University of Northampton.

The IPSCJ brings together practice, policy and academia by using an evidence-based approach to enhance public service delivery models, organisational strategy and outcomes for service users.

IPSCJ has five key research and evaluation portfolios:

Health and Justice: exploring intersections between health and justice, working with a wide range of partners and agencies in community and prison settings.

Citizens in Policing: investigating the roles, functions, and contributions of volunteers within public safety and policing.

Children and Young People: working with children and young people taking a child-centred and participatory approach to research and evaluation.

Organisational Development: supporting organisations to understand practices, structures, and cultures to improve effectiveness and lead change.

Equality, Vulnerability and Inclusion: empowering individuals and communities whose voices are not often heard to take part in research and evaluation.

Recent Projects

Volunteering in law enforcement

Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ES/S014268/1), IPSCJ created a new partnership between UK and Japan-based academic and professional networks in the field of  and public safety, to form lasting links, and establish a foundation for collaboration beyond the research.

The project hosted the first International Conference on Volunteering in Policing, in Birmingham, UK in November 2019. The event included a range of academic speakers from the UK, USA, Ireland and Japan. As part of the programme, Professor Ross Wolf (University of Central Florida) delivered a keynote talk on ‘Reserves and Auxiliary Police in the United States’, Dr Kimihiro Hino (University of Tokyo) presented on ‘Plus Bouhan: A new approach to protect children from crime in Japan’, Dr Matthew Callender on ‘Exploring synergies in volunteering in policing and public safety between the UK and Japan’ and Dr Iain Britton on ‘Setting an international research agenda for citizens in policing’. More than 60 delegates attended the event, including a diverse mix of academics, professionals and practitioners in policing, crime prevention and volunteer management.

Citizens National Pilot Evaluations

Funded by the Home Office Police Transformation Fund, this project involved a national piloting programme of new initiatives with volunteers in policing across England and Wales. In total, 17 pilot projects in 24 police forces were evaluated to identify good practice and innovations across forces. The work sought to research and develop models of attraction, specialisation and leadership in the Special Constabulary, The projects also included several national surveys, and evaluations of the Volunteer Police Cadets and Mini Police programmes. The findings were disseminated at a series of national workshops and events.

Developing Mental Health Treatment Requirement Manuals

Funded by NHS England, involved the production of two practice manuals to support the development of new and emerging sites with Community Sentence Treatment Requirement programmes. The first manual was aimed at Clinical Leads in sites and the second at Primary Care Mental Health Treatment Requirement (MHTR) Practitioners to support the development of MHTR pathways, processes and protocols.

Both manuals were reviewed by the CSTR Chairs, Clinical Leads and Primary Care Practitioners. They were circulated to the national CSTR programme board who has in turn shared it with partner agencies (inc. NHS England and NHS Improvement, and Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service) for review and wider comments. Finally, the manuals were also reviewed by the NHSE/I clinical reference group.

Supporting Place-Based Leadership Development in Africa and Central America

The IPSCJ were commissioned by DIGNITY (Danish Institute Against Torture) to conduct an evaluation of the emerging individual and collective impact in Nakuru County, Kenya achieved by merging a Place-Based Leadership Development (P-BLD) Programme with Intersectoral Urban Violence Prevention (IUVP). The study demonstrated that the programme had positive impacts on participants mindsets and perceptions of leadership and the programme led to significant changes in Nakura and Naivasha in the way violence was addressed. The report is available at The IPSCJ were then commissioned by Dignity, to assist in the production and editing of a facilitators guide, authored by Dr Rob Worrall, to address the challenge of scaling up intersectoral leadership development in DIGNITY’s IUVP programmes in East Africa and Central America.

Evaluation of Women’s Health Services for Perinatal Women in HMP Peterborough

Working with NHS England (East), this project reviewed the effectiveness of healthcare services provided to women who have recently given birth or who are pregnant at HMP Peterborough. The scope of this project was to assess HMP Peterborough’s compliance with three of the ten elements of the Birth Companions Birth Charter. Birth Companions are a Charity that run services in women’s prisons across England and campaign to improve the care of women and babies who experience multiple disadvantages. In addition to the perinatal aspect of the research, the IPSCJ were also commissioned to establish what services, care and support do all women need who are being released from HMP Peterborough to a Cambridgeshire address.

Public Perceptions of Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour in Northamptonshire

Working with Northamptonshire Office of Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, this project conducted mass surveying of Northamptonshire. Members of the public living in Northamptonshire were asked questions about their perceptions of policing, crime and anti-social behaviour, worry and personal experience of victimisation and willingness to engage with policing. The Public Perceptions Survey had been in place for about ten years and throughout the report the analysis draws attention to changes over time. The project also included in-depth consultation with ethnic minority groups.

Current Projects

Community Sentence Treatment Requirement (CSTR) Multi-Site Evaluation

The IPSCJ is currently completing an evaluation of the use of Community Sentence Treatment Requirements, focussing on mental health interventions delivered as part of Community Orders, in a range of sites across England. The project is funded by a range of partners locally and feeds into the national CSTR Board, chaired jointly by the Ministry of Justice and Department of Health. The project will create a new evidence base that documents outcomes following interventions as well as identify good practice to inform the development of local programmes.

EMSOU Organisational Development Programme

The IPSCJ is currently delivering an organisational development programme, funded by the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU). The project involves pulling the workforce engagement findings together with the EMSOU strategy, the focus on people and wellbeing and the overall ambition to be the best regional special operations unit. The approach is centred on developing the attitudes, perceptions, thinking and mindsets of officers and staff, about the policing context, challenges and opportunities that they work within. Sustainable changes in behaviour follow from this, which will create a culture in EMSOU that is dynamic, positive about tackling new threats and risks and facilitates teams bringing their skills and expertise together to drive innovation and excellent service delivery.

Understanding Serious Violence in Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire: a Qualitative, Exploratory Study

The IPSCJ is currently completing a qualitative, exploratory study of serious violence in Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire. Funded by the Nottinghamshire Office of Police and Crime Commissioner, the project will involve a range of qualitative and creative methods to engage with different groups across Nottinghamshire’s population. Understanding the drivers that underpin these changes are a national priority, as confirmed in the Government Serious Violence Strategy and this project seeks to grow the evidence base locally to inform strategies to reduce violence.

Evaluating the Heritage Crime Social Action Challenge Initiative

The IPSCJ is currently evaluating a series of pilots across England and Wales, funded by the Volunteer Police Cadets (VPC). With its proven commitment to youth led social action and utilising its Youth Voice framework, the VPC has secured funding from Historic England to deliver a project to promote and protect the historic environment. The aim of the project is to mobilise the potential of young volunteers in communities and harness their skills and ability in support of Historic England’s core workforce and strategy across all six regions in England. The evaluation will assess the pilots to provide independent assessments, identify what works and suggest improvements to enhance the value and impact of the initiatives.

#Citadel:  Assessing an Intelligence-led Approach to Supporting Vulnerable People and Communities in Northamptonshire in Relation to Class A Drug Use

The IPSCJ is currently assessing a new initiative in Kettering that aims to tackle the harm caused by drug addiction in the town. The Citadel project is ‘a Heroin and Crack Action Area’ (HACAA) and is funded by the Home Office.  The partnership project aims to work by using a holistic approach to help address the issue of addiction to Class A drugs along with the associated problems like crime, anti-social behaviour and harm to the environment. The IPSCJ have been commissioned to evaluate Citadel,  the evaluation will aim to determine whether the model that Northampton has developed is effective in identifying vulnerable individuals,  reducing Heroin and Cocaine use and related vulnerability to offending and victimisation.

SHE2: Evaluating the Safe, Healthy and Empowered (SHE) Project in Northamptonshire

The IPSCJ is currently evaluating the Safe, Healthy and Empowered (SHE) project, which is a whole family, multi-intervention programme for families affected by domestic violence in Northamptonshire funded by the National Lottery. The SHE Project aims to empower women and girls to take control of their lives by preventing their future victimisation through delivery of a holistic programme of support for families who are affected by domestic violence and abuse, working with both victims and offenders. The evaluation will independently evaluate outcomes for people receiving services as well as suggesting improvements to improve the initiatives.

If  you want to find out more about the great work of the IPSCJ contact Dr Matthew Callender, Associate Professor, Institute for Public Safety, Crime and Justice, University of Northampton (Avenue Campus), Portfolio Innovation Centre, St Georges Ave., Northampton, NN2 6JD at:–


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