At a time when youth gangs were high on the UK and Scottish governments'
agendas and a focus of media concern, this research was instrumental in
changing understandings of the origins of youth gangs, and why they engage
in violent conflict. A key insight was that significant gang behaviour had
its origins in extreme forms of place attachment. The impact encompassed
changes in policy direction and programmes aimed at tackling youth
violence, including policies in Scotland such as `No Knives Better Lives'.
Through very substantial publicity, including coverage on 2 primetime TV
documentaries, the research informed public understandings, and challenged
conventional wisdom on the nature, organisation and behaviour of youth
Child protection policy and practice has largely ignored young people's
experiences of child sexual exploitation (CSE) and peer-on-peer violence.
Law enforcement and child protection responses are not integrated,
resulting in oversimplified interpretations of young people's victimhood
and criminality. As the only research centre in Europe exclusively
targeting these problems, The International Centre: Researching Child
Sexual Exploitation, Violence and Trafficking has had direct impact
National and international research findings were utilised to raise
professional, political and faith-based awareness of the impact of abuse
and exploitation on the educational, social and emotional development of
children and young people considered to be `at risk'. The impact of the
case study lies in its ability to portray, through the use of
participatory research methodologies, the experiences of young people who
have been the victims of abuse, neglect and human trafficking. Evidence
collated indicates that the work has significantly increased national and
local awareness and understanding, and led to specific organisational
changes in policy and practice.
Alan Grattan's research has had a number of impacts informing policy and
practice around the inter-connected theme of `young people,
radicalisation, and alienation'. His conference contributions and
publications have led directly to his working with government agencies and
NGOs particularly in Northern Ireland. His work has informed and continues
to inform the approach of these agencies in working with young people in
the community who may be at risk of entering into radicalised and violent
The Design Against Crime research initiative provides leadership
in the field of design-led, sustainable practice in crime prevention and
community safety, demonstrating the following impact:
Research by the University of Huddersfield's School of Education and
Professional Development has played a significant role in influencing
changes to `Prevent', a key government educational policy aimed at
preventing terrorism. The work of Professor Paul Thomas has reshaped local
approaches in Kirklees and Rochdale local authorities and, following
national media coverage and oral evidence to a House of Commons Inquiry,
has helped influenced policy change at national level. Thomas'
recommendation to focus more on cohesion was largely accepted by the
Coalition government in its review of Prevent, as a result of which the
Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has placed renewed
emphasis on the value of cross-community cohesion.
This case study is based on two areas of research, both focused on young
women's sexual health, conducted by Hoggart and Newton between 2009 and
2013. The first concerns abortion, and the second concerns long-acting
reversible contraception (hereafter LARC). The research has had the
following impacts: sexual health policy has been influenced; the delivery
of sexual health service has changed; guidelines have been informed;
practitioners have used the research findings; new clinical processes have
been adopted; professional training has been influenced by the research;
and industry has invested in research.
PADS+ casts light on the causal mechanisms for crime, highlighting how
the interaction between people and settings leads to acts of crime. As a
result PADS+ has advanced the scientific basis on which policing and
criminal justice strategy and crime prevention policies can be formulated
in the UK and abroad. Three types of impact are claimed: (1) initiating a
move away from a broad-brush risk factor approach to the explanation and
prevention of crime towards a focus on key causal factors and mechanisms;
(2) being recognized and utilized by policy makers; (3) contributing to
social science education nationally and internationally.
The research addressed the lack of insight from research, policy and
practice in relation to adolescents who are neglected within families.
Findings have informed policy development at a national level, and were
the basis of a guide to good practice, published and circulated widely by
the (then) Department for Children Schools and Families ((DCSF), now the
Department for Education (DfE)), and a guide for young people to increase
their awareness of neglect, published and circulated by the National
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). At a local
level, researchers worked intensively over 18 months with the whole senior
management tier from Children's Services in one local authority to enable
understanding and refocusing so that adolescent neglect becomes a
legitimate part of practice. Managers went on to enable the shift in
practice with their teams, and adolescent neglect has been included in
revised safeguarding screening tools approved by the Local Safeguarding
Children Board (LSCB).
Between 25% and 33% of all perpetrators of sexual abuse in the UK are
children or young people. Policy and practice in relation to this group
has been under-developed. The research detailed in this case study
constitutes a body of work that has identified gaps in service delivery
and has significantly advanced policy, training, treatment services, and
assessment and intervention practices for this group of children and their
families. The research findings have led to a shift across key service
providers, including Barnardo's and NSPCC, away from adult sex offender
approaches towards more child-centred and holistic interventions.