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Leading academics from California and Norway are visiting West Mercia to learn more about effective engagement with local communities and its role in reducing crime.

Professors Aila Matanock from the University of California, and Ingrid Nyborg from NMBU are researching intensive engagement in the UK, and particularly its impact in a low crime region.

Targeted engagement is currently being carried out in Evesham, Oswestry, Shrewsbury and Leominster in partnership with West Mercia Police, by Warwickshire business – Intensive Engagement Ltd.

The business was awarded the contract following a successful bid from Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion for additional funding to tackle anti-social behaviour and reduce crime in identified hotspots.

PCC John Campion said: “It’s not every day that work taking place in West Mercia is being used as an international case study.

“I understand tackling anti-social behaviour is one of the public’s main policing priorities, so it’s welcome to see the funding I have invested into intensive engagement will ensure long-lasting change across the three counties.”

Inspector Mike Phillips, from West Mercia Police’s Prevention Hub, said: “We are delighted to welcome these leading academics to our force to see the work we do every day to tackle anti-social behaviour (ASB).

“ASB can have a huge impact on our communities and often creates an environment where more serious crimes can flourish.

“West Mercia Police and our partner agencies are committed to working closely with local communities to do everything we can to tackle anti-social behaviour and prevent it from happening.”

Photo shows from left to right: Professor Ingrid Nyborg from NMBU, Richard James for Intensive Engagement Ltd and Professor Aila Matanock from the University of California.