Huddersfield University sets up multi-disciplinary crime-fighting research centre

A YORKSHIRE university is investing £370,000 to create a new multi-disciplinary 'crime-busting' research centre.

Professor Rachel Armitage.

The new Secure Societies Institute (SSI) at Huddersfield University will work in fields including forensic science, terrorism, cyber security, child sexual exploitation and ballistics.

Researchers with world-class expertise in a range of areas – including forensic science, child sexual exploitation, ballistics, terrorism and cyber security – will now work more closely and productively together. The institute aims to make major breakthroughs in crime prevention and detection, and develop innovative solutions to global security challenges.

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The SSI, based in the University’s 3M Buckley Innovation Centre, is headed by criminologist Professor Rachel Armitage.

She has published on ‘designing out’ crime and saw the need for a new research unit that could draw on knowledge across the university’s seven academic schools.

“Working across the schools makes the research so much better,” said Professor Armitage.

She added that the SSI’s remit would be to conduct high-impact, multi-disciplinary research addressing big challenges facing society.

The new institute has been established with financial awards totalling more than £370,000 from the university’s own Research Fund. Now it will draw up bids for research funding from major bodies, including the EU’s Horizon 2020 framework.

The SSI is to be officially launched on March 17 at an event at the University. Guests and speakers will include Angela Gallop, who is chief executive of the firm Forensic Access; the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, Mark Burns-Williamson; former West Yorkshire Chief Constable John Parkinson; along with Lord Carlile, one of Britain’s top legal experts.