The Early Action Together (EAT) Programme, a multi-agency, ACE-informed approach aiming to transform the policing of vulnerability in Wales via early intervention and root cause prevention, was represented at the 4th International Law Enforcement and Public Health (LEPH) conference in Toronto during October.

Included in the delegation were representatives from Public Health Wales, South Wales Police and Crime Commissioners Office, ACE Hub, Home Office, Welsh Government and leads from the EAT programme.  The team presented a major session entitled ‘Why a public health approach to policing is vital in the 21st Century’ and delivered a workshop on using linked data to provide a more holistic representation of violence to inform multi-agency early intervention.

The major session was chaired by the South Wales Police Crime Commissioner the right Honourable Alun Michael, and a joint presentation was delivered by four members of the Early Action Together team. Included in the presentation were findings from the ACEs and policing research in Wales and an update on the work happening through the Early Action Together programme, including how this is being both operationally delivered and evaluated.  Feedback following the session was very positive.

The programme is attracting a huge amount of international interest, with international colleagues citing that Wales is leading in this area of work.  The conference was an excellent opportunity to network with international colleagues who are also working in the same field.

A key observation from the conference was that Wales appears to be the only country that is operationalising the ACEs research, and making changes based on the research and evidence in policing and criminal justice, which is what makes the EAT programme so unique.  

Following on from the LEPH conference, organiser Professor Nick Crofts of Melbourne University attended the Early Action Together Police and Partners event which took place in Newport on Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 November.  The event was over-subscribed, and included attendance of over 140 delegates representing policing and criminal justice, statutory services and third sector agencies from across the UK and internationally. There was a packed agenda including a mix of presentations, interactive sessions, workshops and an expert panel session. 

So far, feedback has been very positive, with delegates saying that they found the event valuable in terms of hearing about the work that’s happening here in Wales and what they can take back to their own organisations.  Importantly, itprovided opportunities for networking, sharing best practice and rich discussions.