LEPH 2019 kicks off in Edinburgh

More than 500 delegates come together to strengthen links between public health and law enforcement services

Date posted

21 October 2019


The Fifth International Conference on Law Enforcement and Public Health (LEPH) has officially got underway in Edinburgh today (21 October 2019).

Around 500 delegates from all over the world have gathered at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre for the event which aims to change lives by strengthening the links between public health and law enforcement services.

This morning’s plenary session welcomed Police Scotland chief constable Iain Livingstone, chief constable of South Wales Police Matt Jukes, executive director of International Association of Women Police Jane Townsley and Larry Krasner, City of Philadelphia’s 26th district attorney as the scene was set for the three-day event.

Chaired by Malcolm Graham, deputy chief constable of Police Scotland and David Crichton, chair of NHS Health Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority, the session introduced the conference’s key theme of promoting collaboration between frontline services, academics, policy makers and people with lived experience in tackling shared challenges.

All four spoke of the changing dimensions of the law enforcement and public health relationship and placed emphasis on the need for change and action now, rather than in the future.

Edinburgh Napier University Principal Professor Andrea Nolan was also present as part of the welcoming speeches. Edinburgh Napier is hosting the conference as it visits the UK for the first time.

LEPH 2019...

Principal Andrea Nolan said: “Policing and public health have traditionally been viewed as separate entities. However, this conference recognises that they are in fact intertwined, with many groups in society coming to the attention of both services. For example, police officers regularly deal with victims of violent crime, sexual trauma, and people with mental health needs – the same population who are supported by health professionals.

“Through promoting interdisciplinarity, the conference seeks to bring about real change in people’s lives, and I’m excited that the ambitions of the conference reflect the values and purpose of Edinburgh Napier University.”

Edinburgh Napier will showcase its research across a number of key areas at the conference.

This morning’s sessions got under way with Edinburgh Napier academics Inga Heyman – who is also chair of the LEPH conference – Nadine Dougall, Jennifer Murray, Andrew Wooff and Liz Aston sharing more on the work they have done so far in developing a Scottish Centre for Law Enforcement and Public Health.

They also spoke about what steps Edinburgh Napier as a University is taking to strengthen its links between the two sides, with collaborative teaching, new courses and shared PhD supervision all part of the mix.

Edinburgh Napier academics Jill Stavert and Larissa Engelmann will also present at the conference.

The Fifth International Conference on Law Enforcement and Public Health runs until Wednesday, 23 October 2019 at the EICC. More details on the conference can be found through the link below.