LEPH2014 – Amsterdam
About the conference
The 2nd International Conference on Law Enforcement and Public Health (LEPH2014) was held at the Free University in Amsterdam from 5 – 8 October 2014. Co-conveners of the conference were the Centre for Law Enforcement and Public Health (CLEPH) and the Talma Institute for the Study of Work, Care and Welfare at the Free University of Amsterdam. The Dutch Police Service (Amsterdam) and the Public Health Service Amsterdam were the major partners. Over 330 delegates from 36 countries attended LEPH2014.
In organising this conference the conveners and partners were guided by a number of shared key understandings:
- Law enforcement and public health are intimately related.
- Organisations from both fields should work together closely to increase the health and security of citizens.
- From an academic point of view this is an important multidisciplinary domain, or even an emerging new discipline.
- Further insight in this domain is best gained by combining academic insights and professional practices.
- Further development of the field is facilitated by bringing together academics, practitioners and policymakers.
- All this is valid on a global scale, and international exchange of insights and practices is an important accelerator in the development of this important field.
In reflecting on the conference the Conference co-director Nick Crofts commented,
“LEPH2012 simply tried to explore the breadth of issues in which the police-public health partnership is important and often critical, simply to map the territory. LEPH2014 took the agenda further, beginning the analysis of the partnership – what makes a partnership? What makes it strong and sustainable?
At the same time, the second conference explored in-depth the operations of the partnership across key themes of mental health, alcohol and other drugs, gender-based and other violence prevention, road trauma and many other subjects. And a global research network around the intersection of law enforcement and public health is being formed as a direct result of a research roundtable help at the LEPH2014 conference.
LEPH2014 was a highly enjoyable and productive time; it portends a productive future for our journey into the relatively uncharted waters of the police and public health partnership.”
Nick Crofts, LEPH2014 Co-director
Joining CLEPH as the co-convener, the Talma Institute for the Study of Work, Care and Welfare is a knowledge and expert centre of VU University Amsterdam on changing welfare states. The institute connects high level, independent and interdisciplinary research with societal questions, and intends to work in close collaboration with stakeholders on the renewal of social security in The Netherlands and Europe.
The core question for research is how care, education, and social security can be arranged in such a way that people can actively participate in society. Not only substantively, also in the execution of its research programme does the Talma Institute actively seek ways to connect scientific research to societal questions. The network of stakeholders is therefore involved in the research process in various ways.
The Talma Institute unites broad, multidisciplinary expertise, bringing together macro-economic issues, knowledge of business models, and insight into social domains, political processes, professional knowledge and behavioural sciences. What unites Talma researchers is the awareness that we need such broad expertise to realize change in welfare states.
Over 60 senior researchers in the social sciences, economy, medical and health research, law, and philosophy take part. We can count among them people who have won prestigious research awards, as well as broad experience in working with people in the field, as grant providers, fellow-researchers, informants, students, and fellow professionals.
Dutch Police (Amsterdam)
Amsterdam is the capital city of the Netherlands. The agglomeration of Amsterdam is 357 square kilometres, has 900.000 inhabitants of 117 nationalities, 17.000 illegal immigrants and 4 million tourists per annum. The Amsterdam Police has more than 5400 members with 216 dedicated neighbourhood offices, 4 districts and 17 base teams. As of January 2013 the Amsterdam Police became part of the newly formed National Police Service. The Amsterdam Police are dedicated to liveability, safety and security and law enforcement is primarily seen as a mean to these ends. As a consequence there is intensive cooperation between the police and a variety of organizations in different domains. The cooperation with the public health service is especially important, for example on substance abuse, violence, and mental health. The Amsterdam Police value close connections with citizens and diverse communities and invests in structural networks with minority groups, including illegal immigrants.
Public Health Service of Amsterdam
The Public Health Service of Amsterdam (GGD Amsterdam) covers a wide field of public health activities. About 1300 men and women are employed by the GGD, spread all over the city and neighbour communities that are part of the GGD's health care area. The main building which is head office is situated at the Nieuwe Achtergracht.
Almost all residents of Amsterdam visit the GGD at least once in their lives. Parents of young children regularly visit a child health centre, travellers to the tropics are advised and properly vaccinated and he or she who is troubled by cockroaches, mice or rats calls in the pest control service. Besides this the GGD is dedicated to secure the health and well-being of e.g. drug addicts, homeless people and prostitutes.
But all provided services, taken for granted these days, have been at some point the novelties of yesterday's era. The GGD has in the 107 years of its existence, during constantly changing circumstances, in many ways contributed in improving the city's health conditions.