Conference themes

The 5th International Conference on Law Enforcement and Public Health (LEPH2019) will present a multi-focused Conference Program that will address three main areas:

  • Substantive issues – all the particular issues in which the police-public health partnership is important
  • Organisational issues – how to best achieve optimal and sustainable partnerships
  • Reflection and methodological issues – creating a science of the public health and law enforcement intersection

LEPH2019 is another important step in further understanding the intersection between police and other law enforcement personnel and those individuals and organisations delivering public health programs in the community. A key theme for  LEPH2019 will be ‘Collaborative Leadership’ which builds on previous conferences  that described and analysed the issues, examined a range of actual and possible responses and touched on leadership in policy and practice.

Conference Themes


Link to the Themes page for more information on each thematic area


aspires to contribute to the achievement of the Rio+20 Conference’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to overcome marginalisation.

  • LEPH2019 will help promote healthy lives and well-being leading to peaceful and inclusive societies by an integrated approach of law enforcement and public health (SDG 3)
  • LEPH2019 will help build police-public health partnerships that are effective, accountable and inclusive (SDG 16)

The achievement of effective public health outcomes is often the result of intersecting law enforcement and public health policy that underpins integrated practice. Law enforcement, especially through the activities of police forces, has a crucial but often unacknowledged role in the protection and promotion of public health. This means that there is an inadequate approach to research and investigation of ways in which law enforcement can be most effectively engaged and be most effective in carrying out their public health role.

As for all LEPH conferences, marginalised communities are an important priority theme of LEPH2019. Marginalisation is the enemy of security and health. Too often around the world police have been agents of marginalisation. Inclusive policing works to overcome marginalisation, by according equal or greater attention and support to populations at increased risk because they are excluded and have unequal access to justice.

Public health is an active partner in crime prevention as well as a range of other complex social issues like mental health, infectious diseases, road trauma, community and domestic violence, alcohol and drugs and disaster management. As well as providing ‘State of the Art’ updates from national and international experts in both police and public health, LEPH2019 will bring together experience and examples of successful partnership initiatives from the widest range of settings.

This is a must attend conference for those working as policymakers, researchers and practitioners in the law enforcement, public health, local government and allied sectors.


The need to build efficient partnerships to address complex issues is not a new idea, having been explored globally in various disciplines. The constant relevance of the study of partnerships however reveals ongoing issues with their sustainability, resourcing, overarching goals and actual machinery. Within this, leadership, and specifically collaborative leadership, is often raised as a major factor to produce impact and generate visible and measurable outcomes, depart from siloed systems, and trigger organizational or cultural change. This is very relevant to the field of law enforcement and public health, where systemic siloed practices, policies and budgets have often failed to address complex social issues.

The primary goal of collaborative leadership is to obtain effective and efficient results across a wide range of supra-organizational boundaries. As a result, collaborative leaders spend a significant portion of their time building and maintaining relationships, handling conflicts constructively, and sharing or negotiating control and oversight with external stakeholders or community leaders. Leadership in collaborative endeavours significantly departs from

a traditional, hierarchical organization[s] in that participation is voluntary and
and often entails cooperation by organizations with different cultures and agendas.
Partnership leaders, accordingly, often lack formal control over members and their actions.

Jeffrey A. Alexander, Maureen E. Comfort, Bryan J. Weiner, Richard Bogue. Leadership in Collaborative Community Health Partnerships. Non profit management and leadership journal. 2003, 12:2 (159-175).

Such sharing of responsibilities, especially across the fields of policing, criminal justice and health, presents challenges as far as the daily job routine is concerned, as well as in the design of co-opted evaluation measures, mixed methods analysis, goal sharing and shared visions.

Subtle cultural shifts are taking place globally in the policy underpinnings of law enforcement and health agencies, who have traditionally seen their role as siloed. However, the historically specialized fields are increasingly beginning to understand the inextricable links between public safety and public health. In part, this has resulted from deliberations about health practitioners as procurers of public safety, as much as the role of police as public health interventionists. At the epicenter of such deliberations, the role of leaders and managers is essential to bringing a new organizational ‘flavour’ to business as usual, shaping debates and shifting policies and practices towards more integrated practices.


Conference Themes

Link to the Themes page for more information on each thematic area




Major themes:

  • ACE- and trauma-informed policing, early intervention:
    What does ACE-awareness mean for practice?
  • Public Prosecutors and District Attorneys – their role in public health, diversion
  • LE and Mental health
  • LE, drugs (incl alcohol) and harm reduction:
    People who use drugs, policing & legal frameworks, drug related deaths and harm reduction
  • Police and other First Responder mental health and wellbeing
  • Emergency Preparedness – crises and catastrophes
  • Neurocognitive disorders – ‘Hidden in plain sight’ e.g. epilepsy, Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, Acquired/Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Violence –gender-based violence:
    Child protection and sexual abuse, exploitation
    Violence prevention, domestic violence
  • Racial/ethnic disparities in access to health and involvement with criminal justice
  • LEPH education, Incl LEPH PhDs
  • LEPH in Low and Middle Income Countries


Examples of Other Topics within a particular theme (by no means exhaustive)

  • Infectious disease – epidemics
  • Defenders – the role of legal defenders in public health; holistic defence
  • LEPH and migration, Roma and travelers
  • Epidemiological criminology
  • Acid attacks
  • Human trafficking
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Incarceration – prisons as public health institutions
  • Road safety and trauma
  • Sentinel events analysis
  • Sex work
  • Suicide prevention
  • Hate crime and the new nationalism
  • Marginalisation as enemy of security and health: inclusive policing to overcome marginalisation
  • Information and data sharing
  • Tobacco control

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