Connect Project

About the Project

The University of York has secured funding of £1 million to collaborate with North Yorkshire Police on new approaches to dealing with mental health problems.

Part of the £10 million Police Knowledge Fund launched to encourage collaboration between academia and police forces, The Connect project (formerly Co-Production of Policing Evidence, Research and Training: Focus Mental Health) will develop mechanisms to change the practice and culture surrounding recording and working with people with mental health problems.

Led by Professor Martin Smith, Head of the Department of Politics, the project will enable frontline staff in North Yorkshire Police to better identify both victims and offenders who would benefit from accessing mental health services. Improving internal processes and multi-agency agreements, the project will develop a training programme to enable access to services at the right time and reduce mental health-related repeat incidents. The Project includes co-investigators and collaborators from University of York departments Health Sciences, Social Policy and Social Work, York Management School, Institute for Effective Education and York Trials Unit.

The aim of this project is to build on partnerships already being developed in North Yorkshire to find better ways of dealing with mental health issues through increased collaboration, the identification of ‘what works’, the production and sharing of research information and improved systematic training. Its aim is to contribute to a culture change in how issues of mental health are dealt with by helping the police to properly identify key issues and collaborate with other agencies to improve outcomes.

  • Build sustained capability amongst officers and staff to understand, critique and use research
  • Embed or accelerate understanding of crime and policing issues, and evidence-based problem- solving approaches
  • Demonstrate innovation in building the research evidence-base and applying it through knowledge exchange and translation across all levels of policing

Research Starts: September 2015

Research Ends: April 2017

Key Goals

  • Improving information about vulnerable people
  • Improving training of dealing with vulnerable people
  • Improving links between agencies
  • Reducing number of vulnerable people in police custody
  • Reducing demands on the policy Goals
  • Improve interaction for co-production of knowledge
  • Use academic knowledge to rethink policy
  • Use the University as a bridge for partnerships
  • Develop national influence

Funding

Part of the £10 million Police Knowledge Fund launched to encourage collaboration between academia and police forces, York is one of 14 successful UK bids. Each collaboration aims to increase evidence-based knowledge, skills and problem solving approaches within policing. Funded by The College of Policing, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the Home Office, the Connect project will develop mechanisms to change the practice and culture surrounding recording and working with people with mental health problems.

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For further information on the Connect project and our progress, visit our website: http://connectebp.org/

Who's Who

York Management School