Raphael Schlembach offers commentary on the Public Inquiry into Undercover Policing

The public inquiry into undercover policing in England and Wales was launched by the Home Office in 2015. The public inquiry investigates the police infiltration of hundreds of political campaign groups since 1968, with evidence provided by police officers and by activists who were targeted. SECP member Raphael Schlembach draws upon his own research into the public inquiry to offer written commentary on the delays and secrecy clouding the inquiry in a range of media, including the British Society of Criminology and The Conversation.

Andrew Coleman researches sustainable drainage systems

Andrew Coleman was part of a HR Wallingford-led team that was reviewing non-statutory technical standards for Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) and to develop draft standards that will help to deliver multiple benefits such as improved biodiversity, water quality and amenity. He researched challenges and opportunities in current planning laws, policies and guidance and the implications of proposed planning reforms.

Read about the project in full on the HRWallingford website

Access the research published by Defra in June 2021

EvoFlood funding success for Professor Phil Ashworth

Professor Phil Ashworth, Professor of Physical Geography and Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, will apply expertise in river morphodynamics and flood prediction to understand how populations throughout the world respond to both repeated and sudden flood events. The project, termed EvoFlood, is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and University of Brighton will receive £301,423.

A wide range of other partners will contribute an additional £424,000 to the project, including Arup, the Royal Geographical Society, United States Geological Survey, the Global Flood Partnership and humanitarian agencies. The Brighton team – including a new post-doctoral researcher – will join up with the University of Southampton’s leading WorldPop Research Group to use different forms of mobile data records to map population displacement and other responses to catastrophic floods.

See the University of Brighton news item on EvoFlood funding success.

Jo Wilding investigates immigration legal aid in Scotland

A follow-up to her PhD research in England and Wales, Jo Wilding is researching the provision of immigration legal aid in Scotland, as part of my ESRC Postdoctoral fellowship. The research investigates the geographies and economics of demand and supply for free immigration and asylum legal advice. This allows for comparison of how the non-marketised and less heavily regulated system for legal aid provision in Scotland compares with that in England, within the same set of immigration and asylum laws.

Her book The Legal Aid Market, written during my post-doctoral fellowship, is published in September 2021 (Bristol Policy Press).

Jo has also been leading a piece of research on access to immigration advice in London, commissioned by the Justice Together Initiative and Paul Hamlyn Foundation, with the report due to be published in June 2021.

Mary Gearey undertakes community action-research on end-of-life fibreglass boats

Chichester Harbour, Sussex, bright sky and a row of anchored yachts with sails down disappearing into the distance.

Yachts in Chichester Harbour. Mary Gearey undertakes community action-research on end-of-life fibreglass boats

As fibreglass boats reach the end of their durability, the ways in which they are disposed have significant impacts on local aquatic environments. SECP member Mary Geary will focus in this project on understanding the rate and extent of leaching from fibreglass constructed boats and other vessels – like canoes and kayaks – as they age. The project will focus on the glass reinforced plastic (grp) particles which are dispersed from these vessels; these particles can become embedded in animal tissue – including human tissue. Once ingested these particles are impossible to remove. The leaching of these GRP particles increases, and becomes more prevalent, as vessels age.

Whilst many boat and marine vessel owners comply with government regulations regarding boat disposal, some do not. This work seeks to understand what different options boat/ marine vessel owners select to dispose of their boats and crafts, and what shapes their decisions, and to discuss what other approaches could be fostered to protect local aquatic environments. Poor disposal practices adversely impact marine life through intractable microfibre pollution. The overarching aim of the project is to capture what contemporary human practices are taking place around end-of-life fibreglass boat and vessels to understand the different perspectives regarding potential solutions to this particular form of aquatic pollution. The chosen case study locations are Chichester harbour, and its environs, and Shoreham Port/the River Adur estuary in West Sussex, UK. This one year project ends in December 2021 and was funded by Radical Futures, University of Brighton.