SFU goes CSI in virtual crime lab

New course challenges criminology students to use real cold cases to retroactively solve crimes

This article originally appeared in The Peak, the SFU student newspaper
September 09, 2013 | By Leah Bjornson | Photos By


This geo-spatial chart, used in the course, illustrates incidents of violence and property crime in Downtown Vancouver.

An online course offered by SFU’s School of Criminology this fall will give students the opportunity to practice their investigative skills in a one-of-a-kind virtual forensic criminal intelligence analysis lab.

Curt Griffiths, SFU professor of criminology, and one of the creators of the course, spoke to its uniqueness in an interview with The Peak. “This is one of the only instances in North America where a university has been given access to these analytical tools to use in the classroom,” said Griffiths. “Usually they’re reserved for the FBI, the RCMP, totally within the policing realm.” Continue reading

Curt Griffiths Gives Evidence to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security

Thursday, February 14, 2013

For more information, read the full proceedings transcript. You can also listen to an audio recording of the event.

[Public proceedings resume]

     I would like to call this meeting back to order. This is the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. We are continuing our study on the economics of policing in Canada. In the second hour we have a witness testifying by video conference from Surrey, British Columbia. … Appearing as an individual today is Professor Curt Taylor Griffiths. He is the professor and coordinator of the School of Criminology, Police Study Program, Simon Fraser University. Professor Griffiths is considered an expert in the fields of policing, community, and restorative justice, corrections, legal reform, and social development. He has co-authored more than 100 research reports and articles, and we certainly are pleased that we can reconnect again today. Professor Griffiths, we are ready for your opening comment. We have a committee looking forward to questioning you as well

Thank you very much. I appreciate the opportunity for you to hear me this time …  I will provide some backdrop comments that could serve as a foundation for our discussions this morning. I think everyone agrees that we need to move toward the development of effective and efficient police services in Canada, but as an observer of this process over the last few years, particularly as the economics of policing have come more to the forefront, I’m not sure we’re going about it in the right way. I’ll offer some comments about that, and hopefully we can get into a discussion about what might be the right way.

    As a consequence of our situation in Canada, over the last three decades we’ve systematically dismantled our capacities to do police research in this country. Back in the 1980s for example, there was a police research unit in the then-solicitor general’s ministry that was very effective and turned out excellent work. Another thing that happened over the last 20 years is the federal government has stopped the funding for the series of university-based criminology research centres that existed from Halifax to Vancouver. Those are no longer functioning.  As a consequence, our research endeavours with respect to policing in Canada are scattered, and there is no coordinating effort. There are very few linkages among universities, governments, and police services. Research is often being done on a one-and-done basis, whether it’s by private consulting companies such as KPMG or by university-based scholars who work on a single type of project and then move on. We really don’t have a coordinating body. We really don’t have a repository, if you will, for police research, and an organization, agency, or institute that could serve as a catalyst for facilitating these collaborative relationships, and equally as important, for the dissemination of information.

Curt Griffiths participates in Policing Economics Summit

Excerpt from Summit on the Economics of Policing

Curt Griffiths shared his knowledge on best practices in the area of civilianization, private and tiered policing based on his research.

Dr. Griffiths spoke to the current state of police research in Canada. He indicated that there is no substantive body of evidence-based research, and very little connection between researchers, practitioners and policy-makers. Research is done in silos and there is no formal mechanism to share and disseminate new research to government and police decision makers.

Continue reading

Curt Griffiths addresses the Canadian Police Association on the Economics of Policing

From the website InternetViolencePrevention.com

Claus Redder Madsen of Danish Police Union addressed delegates at Canadian Police Association Annual General Meeting in Quebec City, Canada September 7, 2012 about learning, sharing & staying safe locally and globally for police officers

Claus Redder Madsen of Danish Police Union addressed delegates at Canadian Police Association Annual General Meeting in Quebec City, Canada September 7, 2012 about learning, sharing & staying safe locally and globally for police officers

Claus Redder Madsen, Union Secretary of The Police Union in Denmark and The Nordic Police Union had a key message of safety and best practices for police officers in Quebec City, Quebec Canada Friday September 7, 2012.

He spoke about a mass shooting on a island north of Oslo Norway and police response as well as a bombing incident.

Watch an archived Google #hangoutsonair video of his presentation.

Constable Scott Mills of Toronto Police Service and Crime Stoppers International did a talk on social media and the need for Police Associations to engage in the use of social media with purpose and process to achieve a payoff and potential for community success and safety relating specifically to Police Associations and protecting those who protect others.

Continue reading

Policing in North has its own challenges, says criminologist

© Canadian Broadcasting Corp. – Wed, 1 Aug, 2012

A criminologist welcomes the idea of a meeting between Nunavut RCMP and community leaders in Kimmirut, Nunavut.

The meeting, scheduled for Friday, follows the latest gun violence last weekend which was aimed at Mounties in the hamlet.

Curt Griffiths teaches at Simon Fraser University and advises on northern policing.

“Obviously, this is the way to go – is to engage in a collective problem-solving exercise and to bring all the parties together and strengthen the contacts between the community residents and the service providers. I think those kind of initiatives have proven to be successful in the past,” he said.

Continue reading