A new crime research unit has been launched at the University of Huddersfield.
West Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson was joined by former West Yorkshire chief constable John Parkinson at the launch event.
The Secure Societies Institute (SSI) will help find new ways to tackle children trafficking, modern slavery and terrorism and will lead advanced research in forensics.
The institute, under criminologist and director Prof Rachel Armitage, will aim to make an impact on the ground and is not just a think-tank.
On launch day, opened by university vice-chancellor Prof Bob Cryan, there were a series of presentations on the challenges facing modern-day crimefighters.
Mr Burns-Williamson hailed the institute as a major step forward and said: “The SSI is an exciting venture and I welcome its support for the development of policy and community safety here in West Yorkshire and beyond.”
He said he was looking for “real outcomes” from academic research and added: “It is all about what it actually means on the ground.”
One of the high profile speakers was Lord Carlile who, as the QC and MP Alex Carlile, became widely known for his legal expertise.
He spoke on his role drawing up terrorism legislation and described his varied courtroom experiences of dealing with forensic evidence, including DNA in its pioneering days.
Lord Carlile also gave his thoughts on the controversial Government counter-extremism strategy Prevent, believing it should not be the preserve of the police but be operated at a community level.