The research looks at both national and local authorities, how they interact with each other and how relations have changed over time.
On one hand, this means understanding how prescriptive the centre is and identifying the mechanisms that it has available for rewarding or ensuring compliance. On the other, attention is paid to the degree of autonomy that the local level actually has in deciding the content of community safety policies, how they are implemented and what governance structures should be put in place to this end. When conflicts arise between the two parties, the research looks at how they are managed and with what results.
The research seeks to produce results that will be valuable for an academic audience and practitioners alike.
It will highlight the strength, direction, and degree of adaptability of the networks that have been established locally throughout the country. This will make it possible to uncover the variations that exist, on a geographical basis or otherwise, within England and Wales. It will consider the impact of devolution on the future of community safety services, the challenges that it poses and the opportunities that it offers. Finally, it will document the new arrangements that are emerging to face a deeply changed institutional and political landscape.
Academically, this will make it possible to engage in a critical conversation with existing literature on community safety in the English/Welsh context. At the same time, this will provide the opportunity of documenting what local authorities are doing to meet their statutory responsibilities in the face of financial pressures and far-reaching institutional and constitutional transformations. All this will provide a wealth of data and evidence to be profitably used in a policy making perspective.