ISSR Director Professor Mark Western, Senior Sergeant Mike Newman, Dr Sarah Bennett, UQ Vice Chancellor Peter Høj, Amelia Gray, Portia Christie, Matthew Klotz, Yu Hin Cheng, Bogdan Berar and Professor Lorraine Mazerolle (clockwise from back row).
ISSR Director Professor Mark Western, Senior Sergeant Mike Newman, Dr Sarah Bennett, UQ Vice Chancellor Peter Høj, Amelia Gray, Portia Christie, Matthew Klotz, Yu Hin Cheng, Bogdan Berar and Professor Lorraine Mazerolle (clockwise from back row).
25 August 2014

Social science researchers will evaluate the success of a new mobile community policing van launched at St Lucia in Brisbane.

Researchers from The University of Queensland’s Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) will determine the effectiveness of the Mobile Police Community Office (MPCO) using a randomised control trial starting next month.

Project leader Dr Sarah Bennett said the MPCO’s focus was community engagement rather than enforcement.

“The van will act as a mobile office, offering tea and coffee facilities and many of the usual services of a police station, giving the police an approachable and friendly presence,” she said.

“The police operate with limited resources, and research by ISSR can help them make the best decisions on allocating resources by providing them with research evidence on what works and why.

“Our trial will test if the MPCO van improves community perception of police, reduces fear of crime in the targeted areas and provides assistance to community members.”

Dr Bennett will lead a team of students to gather data and evaluate the effectiveness of the van.

“This provides a live learning opportunity for students to understand the elements of randomised field trials in policing,” she said.

The project is funded by Professor Lorraine Mazerolle’s Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship and builds on the policing partnerships of the landmark Queensland Community Engagement Trial.

Media: ISSR Marketing and Communications Officer Honor Morton, 07 3365 6072 honor.morton@uq.edu.au