UCL Launches new Centre for Future Crimes

22 April 2016

A new Centre for Future Crimes will be established at the  UCL Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science (JDI) this year. The Dawes Centre for Future Crimes will expand UCL’s research and teaching expertise in addressing the crime and security implications of rapidly developing, emerging technologies and social changes.

The Centre, funded initially by a £3.7m grant from the Dawes Trust, will identify emergent crime and security threats, and will develop and recommend pre-emptive measures to address them. Its research, driven by a commitment to real world impact and scientific rigour, will encompass the social, physical, computer and engineering sciences.

Professor Richard Wortley, Director of UCL JDI, said: “Our vision is to establish the Centre with a global presence, generating cutting-edge, application-focussed research designed to meet the challenges of the changing nature of crime.”

Professor Gloria Laycock, also UCL JDI, said: “The digital revolution has created new challenges in the form of cybercrime and other cybersecurity threats, while developments such as the Dark Web and the Internet of Things are exposing new problems.

“But the issue is wider than digital technologies: developments, for example, in nanotechnology, robotics and cybernetics are creating new opportunities that can be exploited for criminal and terrorist purposes. In addition, social changes associated with population growth, changing migration patterns, and climate change all have the potential to drive crime and insecurity in as yet largely unforeseen ways.

These new threats require new, pre-emptive responses, and it is with this mission in mind that the Dawes Centre for Future Crime is being established.”

Professor Nigel Titchener Hooker, Dean of UCL Engineering said:

“The Establishment of the Dawes Centre for Future Crimes is a wonderful testament to the vision of both the Trust and the leadership of the Department of Security and Crime Science. It will enable strategically important research in the field and help us continue building our potential to tackle truly global questions.

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