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Institute for Public Safety, Crime and Justice


What is the Institute for Public Safety Crime and Justice?

The Institute for Public Safety, Crime and Justice (IPSCJ) is a joint venture between the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire and the University of Northampton. It seeks to bring together academic research and evidence with practice, training and development across agencies. The institute aims to be nationally and internationally recognised for high quality academic contributions to crime prevention, crime science and criminal justice practice.

IPSCJ endeavours to understand victim, witness and service user experiences as well as the priorities of the wider community, through analysis of crime issues and agency activity. This informs further exploration of criminal justice and public safety interventions and creates links between what works in theory and in practice.

The institute is made up of highly experienced researchers, analysts and trainers. They are supported by associates; expert practitioners in the field who bring specialist skills in areas such as evaluation, criminal justice management and victim-centred approaches.

Areas of interest

The work of the Institute is delivered through three broad thematic areas:

  • Strategic crime analysis to develop a thorough practical understanding of crime and associated issues, to support the delivery of more effective operational policing.
  • Evaluation of what works, what doesn’t work and why. This will directly inform and promote the underpinning ethos of evidence based activity.
  • Engagement activity to ensure that the views of community and practitioners are taken into account in developing responses and to promote the delivery of effective services.

Recent projects

Anti-social Behaviour in Northamptonshire

The Anti-social Behaviour (ASB) project had three main aims:

  • to build a picture of the scope, scale and nature of ASB in Northamptonshire
  • to scope and review the processes in place to respond to ASB
  • to make recommendations in relation to “what works” when responding to ASB, drawing on existing academic literature and practice

The main project fieldwork was carried out between October 2014 and January 2015. This involved conducting semi-structured interviews with stakeholders representing 22 key organisations tasked with responding to ASB in Northamptonshire and analysing incident data.

Ascertaining the scope, scale and nature of ASB allowed us to better understand the nature of demand and the experiences of victims, enabling the measurement of performance and, ultimately, informing the appropriate allocation of resources.

We examined the processes in place to respond to ASB, identifying any gaps in knowledge and service provision. In doing so, a clearer understanding of the “victim’s journey” could be mapped. Interview responses were collated and key themes identified, including partnership working, listening, early intervention and taking a holistic approach.

Twenty-seven final recommendations were made to build on good practice and facilitate improvements where necessary. Ultimately, it is hoped the research findings will be used to inform ASB policy and practice in Northamptonshire.

Current projects

Front Line Voices

The Frontline Voices project examines the perceptions and day-to-day experiences of staff working on the frontline within the emergency services and wider criminal justice system. Whilst some of the challenges, risks and opportunities found in frontline work may be clear and well understood across agencies, the Frontline Voices project will bring to life the experiences and ideas of those ‘on the ground’.

By gaining a greater understanding of the experiences of staff, the findings of the project will help inform policy makers and strategic management about the delivery of frontline public services within Northamptonshire and contribute towards future models of public safety.

Victim Experience and Public Attitudes Survey

This project is focusing on improving the methods used to survey victims and members of the public in Northamptonshire. Currently we administer a Victim Satisfaction Survey which asks victims about their experience with Northamptonshire Police, and a short Public Survey asking about people’s perceptions of crime and policing. The aim of the project is to expand our surveying methods to capture the whole victim experience right the way through the Criminal Justice System, from the point of reporting through to the outcome of a court case, if one is needed.

We hope to gain a better insight into the impact of crime on victims, and how this may be reduced going forwards. We also hope to capture information from those who have not reported, and groups who we currently can’t reach via telephone, online or paper-based surveys. The Public Attitudes Survey will also be expanded, to cover perceptions regarding the whole Criminal Justice System, not just the police.

Finally, we also hope to develop a Youth Survey which will capture perceptions of victims and the public who are under the age of 16 to see how crime affects this particular group.

Special’s constabulary

The Institute’s Special Constabulary research programme has been designed to provide insights into the volunteer process, from an initial expression of interest through recruitment, training and deployment to the factors influencing retention and resignation. Following an initial scoping study, the Institute is now developing a number of discrete research projects.

Employer Supported Policing (ESP)

The institute is working with a county constabulary to support the expansion of the ESP programme. By working with local businesses, the ESP programme supports the recruitment and retention of specials by making it easier for volunteers to dedicate time to specific ‘ESP’ duties. Here the IPSCJ will evaluate existing practices to identify the benefits and challenges of engaging with the ESP programme for individual volunteers, businesses and police.


We are conducting a detailed evaluation of a new volunteer recruitment process recently deployed within the county constabulary. This evaluation work will examine the various marketing activities used to drive recruitment, including the use of targeted marketing strategies. It will also consider the impact of a new, one to one guided application process, as well as the impact of different methods of training delivery and the influence this has with regards to onwards progression within the Special Constabulary. Informing this work will be a focus on financial impact of volunteer recruitment including the wider delivery of volunteer programmes within the police.

External partners

IPSCJ works with a range of external partners and continues to build relationships nationally and internationally.

Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Working in partnership with the Office of Police and Crime Commission to evaluate strategic projects ensuring positive impact in Northamptonshire.

Northamptonshire County Council logo

Working with the Northamptonshire County Council on research projects that explore domestic violence in Northamptonshire and Community Safety Partnerships.

Northamptonshire Police logo

Working with the Police to deliver projects in relation to a number of areas including the Special Constabulary, Anti-Social Behaviour and managing demand.


Staff working within the IPSCJ include:

Laura Knight, Director

Sarah Armstrong-Hallam, Institute Manager
01604 892979
07870 572425

Rachel Hooper, Senior Coordinator
01604 892136

Angie Barker, Data Manager
01604 892294

Luke Hubbard, Research Assistant
01604 892931

Rebecca Beechey, Telephone Researcher

Kirti Joshi, Telephone Researcher

Sam Cole, Research Assistant
01604 893416

Gail Harrower, Telephone Researcher

Theresa Yoxall, Telephone Researcher

Martin Woods, Telephone Researcher

Wendy Palmer-Grundill, Telephone Researcher

Samantha Shrimpton, Telephone Researcher

Working with IPSCJ

If you are interested in working with IPSCJ please contact


Select a recent output below or view all research outputs on NECTAR.