ESRC Vulnerability and Policing Futures Research Centre

Two police officers in face masks

This research centre, jointly led by the University of Leeds and University of York, is dedicated to understanding how policing can better service the needs of vulnerable groups.

The centre is one of six Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) centres of excellence announced in late 2021, all of which tackle critical social and economic challenges. The Vulnerability and Policing Futures Research Centre is the first of its kind to study how vulnerabilities – such as exploitation by county lines drug networks, online child sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, modern slavery, mental illness and homelessness – interact with, and are shaped by, policing.

The centre will tackle the questions of:

  • How are vulnerabilities produced, compounded and mitigated by policing?
  • How can the police and other services – such as health, social care and housing – work to prevent and reduce vulnerabilities?

Co-directed by the Professor Adam Crawford in the School of Law at University of Leeds and by Professor Charlie Lloyd at the University of York, the centre is also supported by deputy directors Dr Kate Brown (York) and Dr Dan Birks (Leeds), with a team of 25 co-investigators drawn from eight other universities around the world. The centre is also supported by 38 regional, national and international project partners from across policing, government and non-governmental organisations.

Other Leeds colleagues involved as co-investigators include Professor Iyiola Solanke and Dr Laura Bainbridge from the School of Law, and Professor Mark Mon-Williams from the School of Psychology. You can read more about the Centre on the University of York website

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