The University of Salford has signed a partnership agreement with Greater Manchester Police to help the force and the University meet their future research needs.

The partnership is part of our Industrial Collaboration Zones (ICZs) vision, and follows successful ‘broad brush’ partnerships with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and Pendleton Together which involve large numbers of people across the University.

Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Mellors and Chief Superintendent Zoe Sheard, Greater Manchester Police’s Head of Organisational Learning and Workforce Development, signed the agreement at the inaugural partnership meeting at the Old Fire Station Building on Wednesday 18 November.

Shane O’Neill, Chief inspector of Partnerships and International Police Training (GMP) was also present along with Dr Kay Hack, Dean of Health Sciences and senior academics and enterprise staff.

It is understood that areas under consideration for joint projects lie in:
  • occupational health
  • mental and physical health & wellbeing
  • organisational management
  • computer technology and data mining
  • behavioural change
  • psychology
  • community relations and social justice.

Mike Taylor, Head of Industrial Partnerships, who is driving the engagement strategy across the University, said the agreement formed the basis for a long-term relationship of mutual benefit, and that he was confident the University had a “great deal to offer GMP in terms of cross disciplinary research excellence, knowledge transfer and creative resource.”

He said: “Through industrial partnerships we can deliver on our new vision by furthering our research excellence, improving student experience and employability, and contributing to the economy and society.

“The University can truly support our Police in working with, and for, the people of Greater Manchester to make communities safer. It is our aim to support our new partners with academic evaluation, embedding evidenced-based decision making within the force and to give them access to the creative minds of the future – our students.”

Ch Supt Sheard said: “We are looking forward to working in partnership with Salford University to help us further develop our strategic objectives, through research and student placements. As our relationship with the University develops, I can see there being benefits to both organisations, which will lead to benefits for the community of Greater Manchester.”

University officials and GMP staff have already started the journey of discovery which is a core element of the tried and tested ‘partnership methodology’ designed to really understand each other’s organisational challenges and opportunities.

As part of this journey, last week the university visited GMP’s Sedgley Park training centre on a fact-finding mission and have been given access to crime data to deliver big data mining.

Academics Dr Martyn Matthews, senior lecturer in sport rehabilitation and Dr Mo Saraee, senior lecturer in data mining, used their investigations to present initial ideas which could add value to GMP’s operations.

Also in attendance were Professor Neal Hazel (Criminology and Criminal Justice), Professor Phil Brown (Social Change), Simon Campion (ThinkLAB), Dr Frank Cusack (Social Work), Paul Welshman (Enterprise) and project manager Laura Hounsome.

The GMP partnership model is based on our flourishing association with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) which has spawned 30 research projects involving over 60 academics and GMFRS staff since its launch in November 2012.