Alternative approaches to achieving community safety and well-being across law enforcement and public health: Western European findings
Keywords:Public Health, public safety, violence prevention, multi-agency working
This paper provides the results from Western Europe of a wider project (Envisaging the Future of Policing and Public Health Globally) for the Global Law Enforcement and Public Health Association (GLEPHA) which aimed to identify policing and public health alternative initiatives to provide community safety and well-being. A desktop review of projects that included evaluation evidence and/or impact of innovative delivery were selected for the study. The criteria allowed the inclusion of international, national, regional, and local initiatives that fit the broader aims of the global “envisaging the future” GLEPHA project. In total, 41 projects were reviewed with varying levels of information on approach and evaluation. Data capture recorded the country, location, funder details, themes (e.g., violence, mental health, drugs), key words, program descriptions, and any links and key findings from evaluation studies. A number of key themes, drivers, and challenges were identified in collaborative work between policing and public health. These included elements of communication and generating a shared language, the need for evaluation to be embedded in the project plan and mobilisation, and the problems with “hot-topic” issues and short-term funding. This paper also outlines two case studies of projects within Western Europe: Violence Reduction Units in the United Kingdom, and the Stockholm prevents Alcohol and Drug Problems (STAD). Key aspects of these projects are presented and the successes and potential challenges discussed. Key recommendations regarding the future of law enforcement and public health–related initiatives are discussed.
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