Over the past two decades, many nations internationally have developed policy approaches to preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) in response to increasingly varied terrorism threats, threats often carried out by ‘lone actors’. These international P/CVE policies, such as the controversial Prevent Strategy in the UK, have involved approaches such as community-based work, the development of mechanisms to report and intervene with individuals at risk of radicalisation, and attempts to counter online promotion of violent extremism. The 2017 Manchester Arena attack and the murder of two MPs in the UK demonstrate both the considerable policy challenge and that such prevention efforts are not always effective.
This Secure Societies Institute (SSI) seminar addressed the international challenges and emerging policy directions in developing effective national P/CVE strategies and related this to current UK policy approaches. The seminar featured internationally renowned terrorism studies scholar Professor Michele Grossman of Deakin University, Australia. Professor Grossman is co-convener of the Australian AVERT Terrorism research network, Associate Editor of the leading journal Terrorism and Political Violence and a Visiting Professor at the University of Huddersfield. Alongside Professor Grossman’s analysis of the state of the P/CVE field and its policy and practices approaches, the seminar featured analysis by the University of Huddersfield’s Professor Paul Thomas of current developments in the UK’s own P/CVE policy approach, the Prevent Strategy.
Click here to view a recording of our seminar International challenges in preventing violent extremism
The safety of women and girls in public spaces is an issue for us all whatever our discipline or research interests. At our next Researchers Meet Practitioners Lunchtime Workshop which will be taking place on 30th March 12.30-2.30pm. Helen Forman, Urban Design Manager, West Yorkshire Combined Authority will be joining us to talk about her work 'Designing safer spaces for women and girls' and the challenges still faced. Come along network and meet other SSI members from different schools.
Where: This will be a hybrid meeting, in person in the Larchfield Room 3M BIC and on Teams. Lunch will be provided.
Confirm: Come along network and meet other SSI members from different schools. If you want to come along whether you are a member or none member (you are welcome) please let Dr Rosie Campbell know at email@example.com 29th March. If you are attending by Teams a link will then be sent to you.
On Friday 14 October the Secure Societies Institute, University of Huddersfield, held a webinar to showcase the research of SSI and the work which local community safety partners in the West Yorkshire region are carrying out, with panels themed around the four strands of SSI.
The Cybercrime panel focused on the issue of illegal images of children online. Dr Rachael Armitage shared findings from her research on the indirect harms associated with Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) offending and its impacts on non-offending family members. 79% of respondents to her survey discovered the offence of their partner at ‘the knock’ when police knock on the door to serve the warrant. She found that 70% of the respondents reported levels of symptoms that are indicative of a diagnosis of post-traumatic disorder. She was joined by ‘Lucy’ who powerfully described the impact on her and her children, such as the shock of the news and stigma and contamination as a result of perceptions of the partner as casually responsible due to a failure to spot the signs or failure as a sexual partner. Also the sudden loss of many things, including losing a partner and suddenly becoming a single parent. They proposed a number of ways that such harms could be reduced such as Family Officers present at the warrant/knock and referral into an advocacy service. Professor Simon Parkinson described his ongoing work in cybersecurity to speed up the identification of victims within illegal images of children to aid investigations and safeguarding.
Dr Rosie Campbell, Senior Research Fellow, SSI, chaired the policing and crime prevention panel focused on violence against women and girls. The West Yorkshire Deputy Mayor, Alison Lowe, opened the panel, describing the strategic work to address VAWG taking place across the region, including investment in services to support victims/survivors and announcing a new West Yorkshire wide stalking advocacy service for victims of domestic abuse.
Alison was represented by Detective Superintendent Lee Berry who joined panel presenters; Dr Kate Wood (HHS, Uni of Huddersfield); Deborah Theobauld-Ho (Accommodation Manager, Pennine Domestic Abuse Partnership); and Emily Turner, (Voices Coordinator, Women’s Lives Leeds) for a lively Q&A.
Dr Kate Wood reflected on findings from the independent review of the managed approach in Leeds and their implications for safety and practice. Deborah focused on the support Pennine Domestic Abuse Partnership provide in Kirklees for migrant women. She discussed how women from minoritized communities made up a large proportion of people supported by PDAP in refuge accommodation and described the varied and often overlapping forms of abuse women had experienced, such as domestic abuse, stalking, trafficking and honour based violence. She also highlighted the work PDAD carry out not only to enable women to survive such experiences but to thrive and become influencers and advocates.
Emily described findings from Women Friendly Leeds, Women’s Safety Survey Report. 1371 women took part in the survey which found 50% of women did not feel safe in the city centre. It highlighted high levels of harassment women experienced which eroded their safety and confidence.
She also described several women’s safety initiatives in Leeds that the findings have influenced, including the Ask for Angela initiative in Leeds and the Women’s Night Safe space.
You can click link 01 below to watch the first and second panel.
In the Forensics panel Dr Katie Addinall provided an overview of the current research of members of the Huddersfield Forensic Research Group, including her own research on ballistics tool mark evidence. She was joined by Gillian Leak, Principal Forensic Services, an eminent forensic scientist, who is an internationally recognized blood pattern analysis and crime scene expert. She reflected on developments in forensics and how academic research could help with ongoing challenges for forensics practitioners and investigators by further developing tests and techniques which can speed up investigations and save resources.
The final panel ‘Security: Terrorism contemporary research and policy directions’ was Chaired by the Director of SSI Professor Jason Roach and combined presentations from Professor of Youth and Policy Paul Thomas (who discussed his research on 'Preventing terrorism through community reporting') and a presentation from practitioner Alison Clarkson, Prevent Coordinator for Safer Kirklees. Alison overviewed the priorities & challenges for Prevent at Local Level and Paul discussed research he has been involved with, which evolved from a small study in Australia to a four country research programme, with the UK study directly informing a national UK policy and practice response, the ‘Act Early’ campaign and website, a police-led resource aimed at potential Intimate Bystanders.
You can click link 02 below to watch the third and final panel.
Click below to watch the opening and the first two panels.
Click below to watch panels three and four.
We were pleased to be joined by Joanne Todd, Richard Tedder and Chris Walsh from Safer Kirklees. They shared the challenges of housing vulnerable people, who have complex needs, yet are themselves involved in anti social behaviour. There was much discussion and suggested actions proffered by participants and the team felt they took away some useful suggestions to explore.
SSI were pleased to welcome Detective Superintendent Fiona Gaffney and Detective Inspector Michael Cox from West Yorkshire Police to lead our ‘Researchers meet practitioners workshop’ in March 2022.
Having provided an overview of Program Precision, West Yorkshire Police response to serious and organised crime, they sought ideas about how they could improve the identification and capture of disruption outcomes from operational activities undertaken as part of Precision. Researchers from a range of disciplines including, law, psychology, social work, forensic science and criminology brought their expertise and made a range of suggestions for the officers to take away and consider.
On the 1st of December 2021, SSI hosted the first of a series of lunchtime workshops which are bringing together SSI members with practitioners. Tom Wheatley, Governor of Wakefield Prison, led the first workshop of the series. Tom was able to present a ‘real current’ issue from the prison to SSI member attendees, taking away ideas to address this from SSI security and safety experts from a range of disciplines.