We help communities cut crime and feel safer

Although our clients are in the public, private and third sectors, we only work in the home affairs and security fields. We advise Police and Crime Commissioners, FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies, high-profile individuals and some of the most successful not-for-profit organisations on both sides of the Atlantic.

Every client is delighted by our support

Our customers say we are ‘indispensable’, that we offer the ‘finest’ advice and that our ‘intelligence, integrity and energy’ sets us apart from our peers. Others say we ‘work hard to exceed expectations’ and ‘provide excellent value for money’.

The credibility of our advice is beyond question

We offer a powerful fusion of policy expertise, political insight, delivery experience and communications support. Our team have provided policy advice to criminal justice leaders, led police forces, served at Cabinet level in Governments and held senior roles in the media.

Latest News

Local responsiveness not “post-code lottery”

Yesterday's HMIC report called for greater consistency in policing across England and Wales. HMIC’s Roger Baker said he was “concerned to find that a member of the public will receive a different response from the police for the same type of crime or incident, depending on where they live.”

Confiscation, the real long arm of the law

Crime boss, Terry Adams, appeared in court last week to try and escape paying the rest of his debt to society, which equates to just more than £650,000. The court report shows that seven years after his conviction in 2007 his lifestyle is still under active investigation and his personal expenditure is being picked over by National Crime Agency investigators.

Biotech – the new cybercrime?

Cyber crime has been highly profitable for global criminal networks but there is a new threat emerging, the exploitation of biotechnology. Biotechnology is the creation of drugs and other useful products using “nature's toolkit” by adapting or exploiting processes found in living organisms.

The heroin epidemic of the 1980s and 90s and its effect on crime trends

Muggings, theft, burglaries and motor vehicle crime soared in hot spots across the country to fund increasing levels of drug use. With unemployment running high in the early 1980s, heroin and crack-cocaine use rocketed. As the drugs became commonplace in working class areas around the country, crime levels stepped up a gear.

New evidence on how to rehabilitate offenders

It can be a common refrain that ‘nothing works’ when it comes to rehabilitating offenders, but aUS paper published this spring, claims that a critical mass of evidence to the contrary has been gathered over the last 20 years. Encouraging findings from programmes in the fields of psychology, criminal justice, sociology and public policy suggest that evidence-based intervention is working.

As child abuse investigations take shape, old crimes are transforming British society.

The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has announced a major independent inquiry into claims that, for decades, accusations and evidence of child abuse were dismissed, ignored and mishandled by many of Britain’s most important institutions.

Do the public still trust the police?

There is no one universal definition of trust. In one sense trust is about being honest and ‘telling the truth’. But in the context of government trust relates to the quality of the service delivered. Here, trust is synonymous with the public's ‘confidence’ and ‘satisfaction’.

Finding the tipping point between privacy and security

“The collapse of Syria; the emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant; Boko Harm in Nigeria; al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen; like minded groups in Libya; al Shabaab in East Africa; terrorist planning in Pakistan and Afghanistan; industrial, military and state espionage practised by states and businesses alike; organised crime that crosses national boundaries; the expanding scope of cyber…”

Should Judges or Politicians decide the sentence for possession of a knife?

Mandatory jail terms for offenders caught twice with a knife are poised to be introduced despite a deep coalition split over the move. Conservative ministers will abstain in a Commons vote on the measures next week because they cannot support proposals that have not been agreed on by both governing parties.

Learning from young people’s point of view of policing

By sweeping generalisation, young people are often described as troublemakers and blamed for crime and antisocial behaviour. We don’t often stop to think about the types of crime they experience themselves, the sorts of challenging circumstances they find themselves in or their own perceptions of the police.

Criminal Justice Sector Projects in the red

In the fallout from the European elections, last week’s publication of the annual Major Projects Authority Report may have received less attention than it deserves. The Report lists 199 of the most significant government projects due for completion by 2020 and candidly rates their current status from green to red.

If we are told that crime is at a very low level, does it make us feel safer?

Martin Innes, Professor in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University and an Advisory Board Member here at Crest Advisory, is recognised as one of the world's leading thinkers on policing and social control. His third book ‘Signal Crimes: social reactions to crime, disorder and control’ is out this month.

Twitter proven to help the police predict crime

Social media allows a different way for the public to directly pass intelligence to officers, but how can we use the discussions on twitter to focus law enforcement effort?

The neuroscience of restorative justice

Dr Daniel Reisel studies the brains of criminal psychopaths (and mice). And in a recent TED talk he asks instead of warehousing these criminals, shouldn’t we be using what we know about the brain to help them rehabilitate? Put another way: If the brain can grow new neural pathways after an injury … could we help the brain re-grow morality?

All the findings you need to know – National Audit Office Report

Newspaper coverage of the NAO report was minimal with a single Evening Standard headline stating that reoffending annually costs the same as hosting the Olympic games every year - £13 billion. Otherwise the NAO report largely crept under the radar.

Social Media Emergency Management – Police Professional

Crest was featured in this weeks Police Professional article on how blue-light services manage communications in a crisis.

Penetration Testers and Cyber Security

This week Google invested in another two cyber security start ups, as venture capitalists flock to back a new wave of companies fighting cyber crime.

What do the police do all day?

This week's Economist asks " What do the police do all day?" The answer is "Social work, relationship counselling and a spot of psychiatry" apparently.

The British Prison Estate

The National Audit Office published their report into the prison estate. “Managing the prison estate” The study examined whether the prison estate strategy is likely to improve the value for money of holding all prisoners remanded and sentenced by the courts.

We’ll be having Ewe: the rise of rural crime

Chris Salmon, the Dyfed Powys PCC hosted a conference on rural crime this week. 70 delegates attended the conference with representatives from public, private, voluntary sector and community groups part in the summit.

Nairobi: The beginning of a global trend?

As Kenya continues the three days of mourning after the shootings in East Africa, David Kilcullen, an anthropologist who has served in the Australian Army and in the US State Department, appeared on the Today programme on Wednesday morning to discuss the changing nature of urban violence.

Probation Changes; Will they really work?

The Ministry of Justice released information about probation reforms in four documents yesterday including a Ministry of Justice Press Release, a Principles of Competition document and the Target Operating Model (‘TOM’).

How to manage your Stage 2 transfers

Sean Byrne - one of the Crest team – writes about the transfer of staff to PCC’s offices and the lessons learnt from managing change in other public, private and third sector organisations.

Is Chris Grayling paying for the wrong results?

If the graphs below are unclear, our Associate, Russell Webster, has distilled helpfully the four issues SMF’s paper on the PBR system being proposed by the MoJ.

Dealing with missing people & the innovators’ dilemma

Sean Byrne - one of our associates – draws lessons from the new guidance for dealing with missing people.

PCCs in the media: the debate goes local.

Immigration remains the hottest policy issue, but ‘plebgate’ trumps all Our own analysis this week – produced by our communications team (led by Richard Edwards) – describe the focus of the 615 home affairs news articles that were produced by the national press between January and March.

12 things Russell Webster, ­our resident PBR and probation expert, learnt from the Policy Exchange PbR Event.

Russell spent 10 years working with offenders in the UK and USA in both the voluntary sector and as a probation officer. He is the author of over 30 national reports and how-to guides.

The ‘What Works’ Network

On Monday, Danny Alexander and Oliver Letwin launched something so sensible it’s astonishing governments haven’t been doing it before. As Jonthan Jones wrote: “They’re actually going to use evidence to determine which policies work..."

RAND and Crest Advisory enter partnership

RAND Europe and Crest Advisory announce collaboration to ensure PCCs have access to world-class research and analytical services

Problems with Zero Tolerance policing and Analysis of PCC’s Manifestos.

A number of newsletter recipients have been in touch to ask for a summary of PCCs’ pledges. Crest’s clients have received detailed briefing already, but for others we have replicated the ‘high level’ analysis from the Local Government Information Unit.

Crime, police reform and technology

Computer terminals in cars, followed by hand- held devices, have given officers on patrol access to information systems, enabling them to check quickly for stolen vehicles or outstanding warrants.

Mental health and the criminal justice system

There was much discussion about the interaction between those with mental illness and the police at Conservative Party conference on Tuesday and around the world on Wednesday, World Mental Health Day (10th October).

Coalition governments plans for criminal justice reform

Fresh from his first conference as Justice Minister, Damian Green announced a series of pilots to help speed up cases yesterday. 48 pilot sites will test longer opening hours and video technology which links up courts, prison and police cells for first hearings.

How to make crime fall

One of the last things the former HM Inspector of Constabulary Sir Denis O’Connor did before leaving his post a week ago was to help produce a briefing set on how to reduce crime. Our board member, Professor Martin Innes was on the team who produced the information.

Building an effective PCC office – with lessons from Prime ministers of England

Earlier in the week our team were asked to give advice to a PCC candidate about what an effective PCC office might look like by drawing on our experience of leading the London Criminal Justice Partnership and working in the Prime Ministers’ Office (part of the Cabinet Office).

Procedural justice

When court participants perceive that they have been treated fairly, they are more likely to comply with court directives and the law in general – a concept called ‘procedural justice’.

Collaborate or Perish!

In difficult times individuals, institutions and societies tend to hunker down. Many managers become more risk-averse than ever. Oversight intensifies, shared visions take a back seat, and investment in innovation dries up.

Anti-social behaviour in communities

Earlier this month the Home Office published the results of anti-social behaviour call handling trials that were held in eight forces (Avon and Somerset, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, the Metropolitan Police Service, South Wales, Sussex, and West Mercia).

Hot Weather, High Crime?

Last year the Daily Telegraph pointed out that: “Hot weather prompted a rise in police calls” (here: http://tgr.ph/GYkimb) and conventional wisdom holds that violent crime increases during hot weather.

Open Public Services and Mutuals

The original Open Public Services White Paper, published in July last year, set out the Government’s approach to public services by applying five key principles intended to provide people with the best possible services for the money spent: choice, decentralisation, diversity (‘public services should be open to a range of providers’), fairness and accountability.

The Development Of Policing

We have been providing a few PCC candidates with our primer on the development of policing (illustrated here: http://twitpic.com/90351k).

How Should Police Officers Hold Pistols?

Television programmes shape the public’s views about the effectiveness of all public services.

Campaigners: A Story Time

This week we explore the reasons why campaigners need to tell compelling stories, and why commercial leaders need to draw on powerful anecdotes.

Drowning in Data?

Successful campaigns can be driven by social media, as the 25 PCC candidate tweeters recognise.

Big personalities and their impact on local companies

Labour have told Michael Crick that they’ve had 150 applications for candidates for police commissioners across the 41 police areas, an average of less than 4 per area.

The Changing Nature of the Police and the Public’s Relationship and ‘new’ Campaign Approaches

The Top of the Cops blog highlighted the need to embrace “new” campaigning models this week: “With these Police and Crime Commissioner elections we face a peculiar set of pressures.

Personalities and Policy

The most succinct round up of the developments this week comes from the Economist magazine (here: http://www.economist.com/node/21548265). The article focuses on some of the higher profile contests, but also makes interesting points about turnout

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