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International award for violence research

25 Medi 2007

Professor Jonathan Shepherd’s work on late-night city violence has been recognised with an international prize for research into crime.

Professor Shepherd, Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Dental School, has been working on the effects of drink and violence ever since he was a PhD student. Now his pioneering research has won him the 2008 Stockholm Prize in Criminology.

Professor Shepherd’s work has helped develop strategies for preventing serious injuries in nightclub and bar violence. He conducted the first field research comparing the effects of toughened glasses used in fights compared to those of glass which becomes sharp-edged. His work led many UK pubs to switch to toughened glass in the late 1990s, leading to a fall in injuries.

Professor Shepherd’s research has also helped develop the measurement of violence trends by using hospital accident and emergency data. As a result of this research, he convened the Cardiff Violence Prevention Group – a prototype for the Crime Reduction Partnerships now established throughout the UK. He is also director of Cardiff University’s Violence and Society Research Group.

The Prize was shared with Professor David Olds, of the University of Colorado, who has developed methods to prevent crime by improving family support and pre-school child education. The prize jury cited both the scientific excellence of their work and their influence on policy in the field of crime prevention. The two professors will receive the award, worth around £75,000, at a ceremony next summer at Stockholm City Hall – the venue where Nobel prizes are presented.

Professor Shepherd said: "This Prize is a huge, and unexpected, honour. It is pleasing to see that the impact of our research at Cardiff on reducing late-night violence is now gaining international recognition."

The Stockholm Prize in Criminology was instituted to recognise outstanding achievement in the field of criminological research and its application by researchers. The independent jury was comprised of criminologists from Asia, the Americas, Australia, Africa and Europe.