News

Student research to help police tackle crime from new enforcement hub

21 July 2021

Academic research by University of Derby students will be used at a new enforcement hub to help tackle crime and antisocial behaviour in Derby city centre.

The Office of the Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner provided £25,000 worth of funding for the multi-agency hub – which will see Derbyshire Constabulary officers working with Derby City Council and Derby University staff to provide a joint base in the former Full Street police station over the next three years.

The hub will accommodate 25 officers including the City Safer Neighbourhood Team, Special Constables and Police Cadets as well as enforcement staff and safety officers from Derby City Council.

It also provides a base for those embarking on the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship to encourage collaborative work across the city.

The new project has been developed following discussions with a host of agencies and local businesses to discuss problems including street begging, homelessness and drug use on the streets of Derby.

Since then, partners have been working hard to proactively manage the problems, delivering specialist engagement and support to help individuals recover, secure permanent accommodation and delivering robust enforcement against those who resist help or continue to impact on public safety.

Professor Kamil Omoteso, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the College of Business, Law and Social Sciences at the University of Derby, said: “This hub has been something our academics have been advocating for some time to support Derbyshire Police and its partners with an innovative approach designed to solve a range of problems which exist within our community.

“Our staff and students will work within this hub to assess data and apply our academic research methodology and practice, to make recommendations for the way issues of crime and antisocial behaviour can be addressed in the future. 

“It will also provide a superb opportunity for our students to obtain unrivalled experience, supporting policing and community safety professionals to tackle real-world problems and make a positive difference to our city.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster said: “I am committed to increasing partnership work in order to prevent crime and to provide a strong police presence on our streets.  We can achieve far more together, delivering positive benefits for local residents.

“I’m confident that this multi-agency hub will help make the joint work to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour in Derby City more efficient and effective.”

The new facility delivers an opportunity for degree students to test their skills in a real police and partnership environment, with access to criminal justice processes, case studies, problem-solving and briefing experience.

Councillor Chris Poulter, Leader of Derby City Council said that the move was a nod to the excellent partnership working across the city.

“I’m delighted to welcome the multi-agency Hub to our Riverside Chambers. Having a presence in the city centre centrally will undoubtedly instil confidence with our residents, visitors, and businesses,” he said.

“I’d like to thank officers at Derby City Council for their hard work to facilitate the Hub. They have been working on this for some time now, and by offering premises free of charge for a time, we’ve been able to expedite it and provide a central location for officers in the city.”

Alongside an open plan working space, the new hub provides a dedicated briefing facility enabling the blue light organisations to share intelligence more effectively and host joint night-time economy briefings involving police, taxi marshals, street pastors and licencing staff.

Chief Superintendent Dave Cox, who is in charge of policing for the south of the county, said:

“Having a city centre located base for our officers again is a huge step which is allowing us to respond to city-based crimes far quicker than previously.

“In the short space of time that the team have been based there they have already responded to a number of incidents nearby which before would have taken them longer to attend.

“The team have been able to continue to build links with the business community which is key in the city as they are the main community.

“The hub is a huge first step in improving partnership working and having officers based in the centre of Derby is key to tackling ASB as well as a host of other crimes that effect city centres.”

For further information contact the Corporate Communications team at pressoffice@derby.ac.uk or call 01332 593419.