The International Conferences on Law Enforcement and Public Health, a focus for community safety and well-being: Global potential unleashed as LEPH goes annual to North America and Europe
Excerpt from the editorial by Nick Crofts and Norm Taylor in the Journal of Community Safety and Well-Being:
Organized public health is concerned with prevention andeffective responses to health threats at the population, as opposed to the individual, level. It has a long and success-ful history of countering health threats globally, mobilizing multiple professions and sectors—but not, until recently, including the law enforcement sector. This began to change with the recognition of violence, previously solely the prov-ince of criminal justice, as a public health issue. The Report of the U.S. Surgeon General in 1979, Healthy People, highlighted control of violent behaviour as a major threat to the health of the American people (US Public Health Service, 1979). A Surgeon General’s Workshop on Violence and Public Health in1985 focused attention on the public health importance of violence and in 1996 the World Health Assembly resolved that “violence is a leading worldwide public health problem,” (World Health Assembly, 49, 1996), and the World Health Organization first declared violence to be an urgent matter of the global public health, including violence and victimiza-tion associated with crime (Krug, Mercy, Dahlberg & Zai, 2002). This led to the first solid steps to synergize efforts and interests between public health and law enforcement, steps which were increasingly mirrored in relation to other critical public health issues.
This growing awareness and the whole Law Enforcement Public Health (LEPH) movement gained greater momentum in 2012 with the hosting by the Centre for Law Enforcement and Public Health (CLEPH) of the first international LEPH conference in Melbourne, Australia, in 2012. This was fol-lowed by the second conference in 2014 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and a return to the Netherlands again in 2016 (see LEPH Conference Links below in the Reference List).