Jurisdiction – Florence et al. (2011)

Study Reference:

Florence, C., Shepherd, J., Brennan, I., & Simon, T. (2011). Effectiveness of anonymised information sharing and use in health service, police, and local government partnership for preventing violence-related injury: Experimental study and time series analysis. British Medical Journal, 342.

Location in the Matrix; Methodological Rigor; Outcome:

Jurisdictions; Focused; Proactive; Moderately Rigorous; Effective

What police practice or strategy was examined?

The study examined the effectiveness of information sharing between hospitals and the police and other local authorities to prevent injury related to violence. Anonymized data relevant to violence prevention (precise violence location, time, days, and weapons) from patients attending emergency departments in Cardiff, Wales, and reporting injury from violence were shared on a monthly basis over 51 months with police and local authority partners and used to target resources for violence prevention. Strategies consisted of repeated adjustments to the routes of police patrols, moving police resources to high violent crime area during high-risk time period, targeting problematic licensed premises, and informing public space deployment of CCTV.

How was the intervention evaluated?

The intervention was evaluated with a longitudinal quasi-experimental design comparing changes in violence in Cardiff with changes in violence in the comparison site—14 cities classified by the U.K. Home Office as “most similar” on an array of 20 socio-demographic and geographic factors. Thirty-three months before the program and 51 months after the implementation of the program were included in the comparison. Outcome measures included violence recorded by the police (subcategorized as wounding, common assault, and total assault) and hospital admissions related to violence.

What were the key findings?

Information sharing and use to develop targeted patrols and problem-solving efforts were associated with a substantial and significant reduction in hospital admissions related to violence. Rates fell from 7 to 5 per month per 100,000 people compared to an increase from 5 to 8 per month in comparison cities. The average rate of wounding recorded by the police changed from 54 to 82 per month per 100,000 people in Cardiff compared to an increase from 54 to 114 in comparison cities. There was a significant increase, however, in the recording of less serious assaults in Cardiff relative to other cities.

What were the implications for law enforcement?

The authors suggest that an information sharing partnership between health services, police, and local government based on information collected from patients treated in emergency department altered policing and other strategies to prevent violence and led to a significant reduction in violent injury and an increase in police recording of minor assaults.

Where can I find more information about this intervention, similar types of intervention, or related studies?