Crime and justice research in Scotland to benefit from £10.6 million funding

Issued: Fri, 18 Nov 2005 00:00:00 GMT

The University of Glasgow, in partnership with the Universities of Edinburgh and Stirling, has been awarded nearly £3 million by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and the Scottish Executive Justice Department (SEJD) towards the establishment of a new Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR).

In addition to SFC and SEJD funding each of the lead universities will be contributing more than £2 million to the project, with complete funding for the SCCJR totalling £10.6 million over four years.

Allocated through SFC's Strategic Research Development Grant's societal and public policy strand, the main objective of the funding is to enhance research capacity in an area of importance to Scotland.

The SCCJR will comprise of a partnership of the three lead universities in alliance with a wider consortium of crime and justice researchers at the Universities of Aberdeen, Strathclyde and Glasgow Caledonian (who will lead one of the research networks through which the Centre's programme will be developed).

The centre will have three co-directors, Professor Michele Burman from the University of Glasgow (lead partner), Professor Richard Sparks from the University of Edinburgh and Professor Gill McIvor from the University of Stirling.

The SCCJR aims to expand research capacity in Scottish HEIs and to utilise the enhanced capability to carry out an integrated programme of high quality crime and justice research on topics which are relevant to Scottish criminal justice needs and which improve the evidence base of Scottish crime reduction and criminal justice policy.

The work will cover five thematic research networks:

*structure and process in the criminal justice system;

*evaluating interventions;

*violence, risk and public health;

*crime, communities, places and inequality; and

*understanding crime trends and patterns.

Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson said: 'Scottish universities have a well-earned reputation for excellence.

'Research has a real contribution to make on serious issues including crime trends, violence, risk and effective interventions to change behaviour. A strong criminal justice evidence base, built and developed in Scotland, but also drawing on lessons internationally, is crucial to identifying the solutions that are right for our communities. This collaborative approach will enhance our ability to understand the social and economic factors that can lead to problems and what works in Scotland to tackle them.

'I am delighted that the Scottish Executive is helping to enhance the quality and capacity of criminal justice research in Scotland. This important initiative will make sure that our policies, based on the best available evidence, deliver efficient, effective justice services for the twenty-first century.'

Professor Michele Burman of the University of Glasgow and leading co-director of the new centre said: 'We are delighted to be able to announce this exciting initiative, on behalf of the criminological and criminal justice research community throughout Scotland.

'The Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research represents a great opportunity for all those committed to pursuing high quality research and scholarship in this field. We look forward to working with colleagues across the Scottish universities, in government, in the voluntary sector, and with criminal justice practitioners to enhance the quality, profile and relevance of Scottish crime and justice research.'

Roger McClure, Chief Executive of SFC, said: 'Everybody aspires to live in a safe and just society. We are delighted to be able to support this collaborative investment in an area which is of such strategic importance to Scotland.'

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For more details contact the University?s Media Relations Office on 0141 330-3535. Further information can be found at: Scottish Funding Council website.