The Vulnerability & Policing Futures Research Centre aims to reshape how the police and other organisations work together in order to reduce harm among vulnerable people in society.

The causes and characteristics of vulnerability are complex. The remits of the police and partner organisations intersect in complicated and shifting ways when it comes to policing vulnerability. At the same time, the public have growing concerns about the role and priorities of the police and about legitimacy in the face of discriminatory practices.

Our wide-ranging research is built on effective collaborations with police and those partner organisations, such as local authorities, charities and non-governmental organisations, as well as people seen as “vulnerable”. This allows us to understand perspectives from a range of services and the people who use them, while gaining new insights through a variety of research methods.

By doing this, we can understand how vulnerability develops in different areas and how organisations can work together to tackle problems such as exploitation by county lines drug networks, online child sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, modern slavery, mental illness and homelessness.

Through our independent research, we can pioneer new, integrated approaches to drive positive change in the ways police and other services respond to these problems, benefitting vulnerable people and the organisations who work with them.

The Vulnerability & Policing Futures Research Centre is jointly hosted by the University of York and the University of Leeds, and is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Our team and partners

The Vulnerability & Policing Futures Research Centre brings together an interdisciplinary group of leading researchers from across the world.

Find out more about the team on our People pages.

We have 38 local, national and international partners across different sectors. By bringing together police, policing partner organisations, government departments, charities and people with experience of vulnerability, we can understand the challenges they face. Our collaborative work will help us develop bold solutions to ensure that public services are integrated and effective in supporting vulnerable people and communities.

Our National Engagement Group, Ethical Oversight Panel and International Advisory Board guide the Centre in its work.