Cardiff University Professor Jonathan Shepherd’s attempt to cut violent crimes by considering data from accident and emergency departments is all set to be introduced in Australia.
The model will be used in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney for a period of five years. The project will be funded by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council. For proper implementation of the model in Australia, the professor will team up with Deakin University’s researchers in Victoria.
When treating assault victims, Shepherd found that more than half of the cases remained unreported to police. “There were people on my operating table every week, injured by someone who was never brought to book. It was a real shock to discover that large numbers of violent offences were not known to the police,” the maxillofacial surgeon said.
The approach focuses on anonymous intelligence that is exhibited through the data collected from hospital’s A&E departments. The gathered details will then be shared with the police and public health authorities and local bodies. Seeing the effectiveness of the “Cardiff Model,” the Australian government has decided to implement the same strategy to the nation to reduce the frequency of violent crimes.
Shepherd’s “Cardiff Model” that identified violence hotspots won a grant worth £740,000 (AU$1.4 million) for implementation. The professor said that the model aimed at cutting “the harm violence inflicts on citizens and communities.” The model was applied to the capital of Welsh between 2002 and 2007, which prompted a significant reduction in serious violence compared to 14 other cities. The British Medical Journal published an evaluation of the model in 2011 where it stated that the model helped to drop serious assaults to 32 percent and declined hospital admissions in Cardiff to 42 percent.
“The goal of this approach is to provide basic information that complements police records so that law enforcement and alcohol licensing can take appropriate and intelligent steps to reduce the harm violence inflicts on citizens and communities,” Shepherd said as quoted by BBC.
Shepherd received the Stockholm Prize for Criminology for the Cardiff model in 2008 after its successful implementation in South Africa, the United States, and the Netherlands.