SDG16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

SDG16 aims to promote ‘Access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable institutions at all levels’, an area that is central to the University core functions and strategic vision. As a Higher Education Institution, we recognise the importance of accountability across and within institutions and have a number of policies and initiatives across our own organisation to ensure justice, fairness and ethical behaviour (see the Related Policies and Reports section at the bottom of this page). We are proud of the work that we do to support this SDG, as we believe that it is only through stable and accountable institutions, that true sustainable change can emerge.

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The University’s work around justice and policing is encapsulated through the research and advocacy work of the Institute for Public Safety, Crime and Justice (IPSCJ). The IPSCJ contributed to the Home Office Front Line Review in policing, providing evidence to shape future Governmental policy. The IPSCJ policy paper outlined key themes from the extensive research and evaluation engagement with policing, including workload, internal inefficiencies, job satisfaction, performance, leadership and management.

Since 2015, the IPSCJ has been influencing and leading transformation across Citizens in Policing in England and Wales, advocating for a future where police volunteering becomes a central agenda in policing reform, in which police volunteers play a major part in changing the face of policing, and in which the experience of volunteering in policing is a good as it can possibly be; provided guidance to more effectively attract and recruit Special Constables across England and Wales; supported improvements in the motivation, morale and retention of Special Constables; developed Employer Supported Policing; improved the leadership of Special Constabularies in England and Wales, supported development of a digital recruitment platform with Merseyside Police; informed national considerations in respect of Special Constables carrying Taser; informed the representation of Special Constables; supported Special Constables serving in specialist teams and developing specialist skill-sets; and developed Police Support Volunteers.

Ending Abuse and Violence

As a University we are committed to ending all forms of abuse and violence against people. As a University during the Covid-19 pandemic we have supported victims of domestic abuse by providing housing support through our unoccupied student residences. The University has also engaged in research that explored child victims of domestic abuse through its UNARS programme; whilst other research has explored: issues of consent and sexual violence; gender-based violence in organisational transitions; wellbeing and physical/emotional security in childhood; the prevention of peer-bullying in South Australia; and exploring the violence of the far-right in the UK and internationally. The impact of our research in reducing violence is also clear, with University experts implementing violence reduction strategies in youth custody, as well as providing evidence to the Justice Committee Review that called for safe environments for children and young people in custody. We have in collaboration with the Student Union also recently launched our Consent Campaign, centred on informing students and staff about consent and sexual violence. As a University we are also committed to freedom of expression that is free from abuse and intimidation; and are also committed to ending modern slavery and have a robust Modern Slavery policy in place.

Reducing Corruption and Bribery

Our commitment to the highest ethical standards with regards to corruption and bribery is focused both internally and externally. Within the University we have robust policies and procedures in place to ensure that staff understand and do not engage in bribery and corruption, as well as money laundering. Externally, we are also involved in several key projects to reduce corruption globally, including research that explores corruption in Russia; and the presence of criminality and a lack of integrity in food supply-chains; whilst we also engage in research that explores ethics and fraud in procurement. Finally, we also teach degree programmes in these areas, most notably including our BA (Hons) degree in Criminal and Corporate Investigation, as part of our efforts to educate the investigators of tomorrow. All staff have to undertake our mandatory corruption and bribery courses also.

Accountable and Open Institutions

We believe that robust Higher Education Institutions play a key role in holding governments, corporations and other institutions to account, and that their role in delivering research, education and community engagement remains critical to this. As part of our commitment to this UON, in partnership with the British Council, has been working with HEIs in post-conflict countries (notably Iraq) to support their academic independence and capacity. Further, our work has also supported the United Nations Development Programme in Vietnam to map and support the Social Impact Business Sector in the country. As an institution we also engage in globally cutting-edge research into: insider security threats within organisations; Human Resource roles in organisational effectiveness; and the role of Human Resource Management in supporting police performance in Oman. Accountability and openness within the University, our local area and globally are therefore key areas of importance for the University of Northampton that shape our commitment to ‘justice for all’.

Please check out our latest research for SDG16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

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