A crack team of crime-fighters has burst into town.

World class researchers will now be able to work more closely and productively with each other, thanks to the opening of the £370,000 Secure Societies Institute (SSI) at the University of Huddersfield.

Based in the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre on Firth Street, the team’s goal through the unit is to make major breakthroughs in crime prevention and detection, and develop innovative solutions to global security challenges.

The 3M Buckley Innovation Centre at Firth Street in Huddersfield

Criminologist professor Rachel Armitage is the head of the centre, and she realied there was a need for a new research unit at the university that could draw on the different knowledge bases found in the University’s seven academic schools.

“Working across the schools makes the research so much better”, she said.

“For example, experts in cyber-crime within the School of Computing and Engineering could collaborate with specialists in psychology and criminal investigation, leading to greater understanding of how individuals make sense of incomplete data.

“Criminology experts from the School of Human and Health Sciences could work with product design lecturers and students from the School of Art, Design and Architecture to come up with innovative solutions to the problems of shoplifting and household burglary.”

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson with Sgt. Neil Willan in New Street, Huddersfield.

The centre is now in the process of drawing up bids for research funding from major bodies, including the EU’s Horizon 2020 framework.

Other academics to work in the SSI centre include Dr Dagmar Heinrich as its research fellow, a senior research fellow plus two PhD students, while another three students will also be recruited.

The SSI will be officially launched on March 17.

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High-profile speakers and guests will include Angela Gallop, chief executive of the firm Forensic Access, Mark Burns-Williamson, the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, John Parkinson, former West Yorkshire Chief Constable; and Lord Carlile, one of Britain’s top legal experts.

A series of discussion panels covering topics such as terrorism, forensic science and slavery and exploitation with university experts discussing their research in these topics, will take place throughout the day.