Project Which Saw Brains Triumph in Fight against Booze; University and Medical Boffins Win Top Academic Award

South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales), November 19, 2009 | Go to article overview

Project Which Saw Brains Triumph in Fight against Booze; University and Medical Boffins Win Top Academic Award


Byline: Madeleine Brindley

A GROUP of university and medical experts credited with making Cardiff's streets safer has won one of the highest awards in the academic world.

The pioneering work to reduce late-night and alcoholrelated violence carried out by researchers at Cardiff University was last night awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize.

The violence and society research group's findings have been translated into practical action to identify violence hot spots and to tackle and prevent injuries in city centres late at night.

The group's work also led to a prototype crime reduction partnership being set up in Cardiff in 1996, which brought together academics, health professionals, SouthWales Policeandcouncil officers for the first time.

Statistics now show that Cardiff is the safest city of its size in the UK and other parts of theUKare nowcopying the community safety partnership model pioneered in the capital.

Professor Jonathan Shepherd, the group's director, said he believed its main contribution had been bringing together different agencies in this way.

"In the past we have let the policework in isolation, let the health service patch up the victims and the council deals with transport and education.

"Before it all happened in silos without being joined up, now agencies and communities are working together." The Queen's Anniversary Prize rewards excellence in education. The university will be presented with the award by the Queen at Buckingham Palace in February.

First Minister Rhodri Morgan said: "I would like to congratulate heartily Professor Jonathan Shepherd and his team because their work has made a real difference to so many people who live in and travel to the capital city of Wales to enjoy its attractions by night and day.

"It is important that these people feel safe and the university's research into the cause of violent injury and possible pathways to reduction of harm is helping to achieve that.

"The Cardiff Violence PreventionGroupwas established to translate this research into practical action.

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