evidence-based policing in UK

It is widely recognised that the extent and impact of crime on small businesses, across all four nations of the UK, is vast and its repercussions significant. Similarly, that the factors influencing this are extremely complex. Consequently, during Skills for Justice’s sixteen years as the Sector Skills Council for the UK justice sector, they have led a number of funded research projects which have sought to gain a clearer understanding of these intricacies, in order to both inform future action on the prevention of crime and ensure the safety of our communities.

Northern Ireland has a long history of recognising the magnitude of business crime, as well as acknowledging the complexity of issues which surround tackling it. As a result, various government documents have outlined that do this successfully, the police cannot act alone, and the responsibility lies jointly with law enforcement, local authorities, and the community to take a holistic approach. Equally, Northern Ireland policing wholly recognises that working with the community is the key to helping prevent crime, anti-social behaviour and reduce the fear of crime for all members of the community, including businesses.

In 2012, Jon Parry, Head of Research and Evaluation and Senior Researcher Sabina Enback, Skills for Justice, together with Dr Adegbola Ojo, now Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Lincoln, conducted extensive research alongside the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN), into crimes against small business in Northern Ireland[1]. This work investigated crime experiences and security measures taken across the country, on behalf of the Department of Justice, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and the local District Policing Partnerships and Community Safety Partnerships.

Dr Adegbola said: “The 2012 study was developed to get a more realistic picture of crime from business representatives located within Northern Ireland than police figures would suggest and sought to provide data on crime experienced by business. The report which linked the risk of specific crime types for businesses to neighbourhoods was described as something the PSNI had never seen before, and the results were designed to inform the work of the co-funding organisations, and those working with businesses in Northern Ireland to combat crime.” 

At the time, the trio concluded that as the study did not explore issues such as anti-social behaviour, or the fear of crime, further qualitative research would be beneficial, in order to provide a more comprehensive set of recommendations, based upon a clearer understanding of these complexities. So, in 2020, Jon, Sabina and Dr Adegbola reunited to further this work with a study that accounts for these very factors. Their paper "Neighbourhood-level analysis of the socio-spatial context of business crime in Northern Ireland" was recently published in the academic journal Crime Prevention & Community Safety.

Dr Adegbola said: “Business crime continues to be an important topic for community safety stakeholders in Northern Ireland. As all crimes against businesses are not reported to the police and crimes against business are not recorded as a separate category, it is often difficult to distinguish which recorded crimes are crimes against business. Furthermore, business owners generally deploy crime prevention measures without taking into cognizance what-works. The intention for refreshing this research in 2020 was therefore underpinned by the need to contribute to a critical evidence base of what works in business crime prevention.”

The new research models the neighbourhood patterns of crimes perpetrated against small business in Northern Ireland, accounting for both the levels of non-reporting of crime victimisation among business owners, together with the factors influencing the non-reporting of crime. The findings show that indeed businesses within certain neighbourhood types are disproportionately exposed to crime. It also evidences that multiple business owners have adopted crime prevention measures without first considering what works in preventing business crime in the specific types of neighbourhoods where their enterprises are located.

Sabina said: “We know that crimes against businesses have a detrimental impact, not just on individual businesses and their earnings, but on the surrounding areas and the people that live and work there. It can lead to job losses, attract increased levels of crime and vandalism, higher prices for consumers and increase fear of crime amongst residents. Our paper shows that crimes against businesses often go unreported which means that public resources are not put in place to combat this. In addition, we flag up that business owners have themselves put in place crime prevention measures which might not be adequate.”

Whilst this study is of particular relevance to the allocation of resources for community intervention initiatives aimed at tackling crime in Northern Ireland, additional analysis is needed to positively influence change in reducing inequalities in the perpetration of business crime. Yet the broader significance of the report’s findings contribute considerably to the field of evidence-based policing, an approach that has fundamentally redefined the policing landscape, and can be applied across all four nations of the UK.

Sabina adds: “It is vitally important that the reporting of crimes against businesses is encouraged to support police and local authorities better implement the right measures. By profiling business crime with a spatial segmentation framework, which looks at key crime characteristics relative to neighbourhood types, effective evidence-based interventions can then be put in place.”

Skills for Justice work in partnership with policing organisations across the UK, to deliver research and evaluation resulting in the development of innovative, evidence-based approaches to policing and crime reduction, embedding a better understanding of the complex issues involved.

Jon concludes: “It is our ambition that our research informs policy, and that policy draws on our research. Identifying and tracking policy priorities through direct engagement with policy makers, employers and stakeholders helps us to understand ‘drivers of change’; develop future skills scenarios and support the development of an effective workforce. In this way, we ensure that our evidence-based research is successful as a key pillar in the foundation of policy development and consequently exerts maximum impact on the UK workforce and on skills and standards development.”

[1] ‘Crime Against Small Businesses in Northern Ireland’ - the survey underpinning this research was conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of Skills for Justice. Analysis, spatial configuration, and report writing were conducted by the Crime Reduction Unit at UCLAN and Skills for Justice.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 4 hours 56 minutes ago

Levelling Up Learning through Technology – A Ufi...

Levelling Up Learning through Technology – A Ufi VocTech Trust’s Whitepaper - EdTech Update April 28, 2021How can digital solutions improve outcomes...

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 4 hours 56 minutes ago

RT @FENews: Flexi-jobs, ATAS and Apprenticeships: OverviewFollowing recent consultations by the Department for Education, a new flexi-jobs.…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page