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22 December 2011
A successful violence prevention model developed at Cardiff University is set to be implemented in the Dutch capital Amsterdam.
Established by Professor Jonathan Shepherd, Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the School of Dentistry, the Cardiff Violence Prevention Model is based upon information sharing between and joint action by police, councils and emergency departments to curb violence.
Now, as part of the country’s efforts to reduce violent behaviour, the Dutch Minister of Security and Justice has sent a delegation to Cardiff find out more about the scheme.
The group, which included the Chief Inspector of the Amsterdam police force, spent two days at the University learning about the Cardiff model and how it has successfully reduced hospital admissions for violence by 42% in the capital when compared with 14 similar cities in England and Wales, by using information obtained from victims who end up in hospital to identify violence hotspots such as street locations, nightclubs, park settings, schools and also victims injured in domestic settings.
As well as meeting members of the Violence Prevention Group the delegation visited the Accident and Emergency Unit at the University Hospital of Wales and also spent time on the streets of Cardiff with on duty police officers.
Hidde Toet from the Dutch Consumer Safety Institute and who led the delegation said: "The Cardiff model provides us with an effective method to improve the way we share information and implement preventative measures by police and local government to effectively reduce violence. As part of the exploration phase of our own project we wanted to visit Cardiff and see for ourselves how things are organised and run, as well as talk to all partners to see what we can learn.
"Our visit allowed us to meet the right people, visit the right locations and also identify ways in which the Cardiff situation differs from that of Amsterdam. It was a great success and in the coming months we hope to get all partners involved in our own pilot-project and start moving forward. "
Holland is not the first country to follow the Cardiff model; there are currently implementation projects in place in the United States, for example in Milwaukie and a similar operation is already going ahead in Western Cape, South Africa.
As a result of this enterprise being adopted by the coalition government more than 100 hospitals across England and Wales have implemented the model.
Professor Jonathan Shepherd said: "This violence prevention model, conceived in the University and developed with partners across the city, has made Cardiff safer than other UK cities of a similar size. I am delighted that the publication in the British Medical Journal of our evaluation has prompted the Dutch Minister of Security and Justice to draw up an implementation plan for Amsterdam with a view to wider adoption throughout Holland."
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