The Cardiff Model for Violence Prevention: A Success Story

More than half of violent crimes in the United States go unreported according to the U.S. Department of Justice. 

As a result of this staggering statistic, communities lack a complete understanding of where violence occurs and how to develop tailored prevention programs. The Cardiff Model for Violence Prevention, developed by surgeon and Professor Jonathan Shepherd, MD, of Cardiff University in the United Kingdom, provides a way for communities to gain more complete information as to where violence occurs and how to prevent it by forming partnerships between hospitals, law enforcement and others interested in violence prevention. 

Through a CDC Foundation grant funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Grady Memorial Hospital and DeKalb County Police Department created a local Cardiff Model partnership in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The purpose of this pilot was to document the strengths, challenges and costs of the Cardiff Model program and to determine technical needs. The prevention strategies implemented in the pilot have the potential to help guide future evaluation research and implementation of the model in the United States.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation highlighted this partnership in their Culture of Health Blog this week, emphasizing the potential for this project to encourage other communities to implement the model. According to the blog authors, “DeKalb County and Grady’s experience shows how effective a partnership centered around using data can be to help communities better understand and take steps to stop the pervasive violence in our neighborhoods that threatens health, well-being and quality of life.”

This partnership was also highlighted in an article in Police Chief Magazine this week, authored by Assistant Police Chief Michael Yarbrough with the DeKalb County Police Department. Assistant Police Chief Yarbrough said in the article, “Crime prevention is law enforcement’s highest goal. Public health is focused on protecting health. Preventing violence—which is both a crime and a health threat—is a priority for both fields. The Cardiff Model brings those silos together, arms them with better intelligence, and helps them engage the community as an ally in preventing and reducing violence.”

We are very grateful to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for their support of the Cardiff Model project.

Rachna Chandora, MPH, is associate vice president for the noninfectious disease programs for the CDC Foundation.