Nick CroftsProf Nick Crofts

Director, Centre for Law Enforcement and Public Health (CLEPH), Melbourne, Australia

Professor Nick Crofts is an epidemiologist and public health practitioner who has been working in the fields of HIV/AIDS, illicit drugs, harm reduction and law enforcement for 30 years. His major epidemiological work has been on the control of HIV and hepatitis C among injecting drug users in Australia and globally, including almost every country in Asia. As a designer and technical director of AusAID’s flagship HIV/AIDS program in Asia, ARHP 2002-2007, he was instrumental in building capacity among SE Asian police forces in relation to HIV, and has worked in many settings forging relationships between police and public health. He founded the Law Enforcement and HIV Network (LEAHN) in 2009, convenes the International Working Group on Policing Marginalised Communities, and is Director of the Law Enforcement and Public Health Conferences.

Nick Crofts was previously at the Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health for 19 years, where he was instrumental in building its Public and International Health arms, and was Deputy Director for five years. He was Director of Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre for three years, and then at the Nossal Institute for Global Health, developing its Law Enforcement and Public Health Program. His most recent appointment was as Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute in Turin. He has been a member of Australia’s National Council on AIDS three times, and has performed multiple consultancies for WHO, UNAIDS, UNODC, AusAID and other bilateral and multilateral agencies.

He edited the first Manual for Reduction of Drug Related Harm in Asia, founded the Asian Harm Reduction Network, and for his work in Asia was awarded the International Rolleston Award in 1998. He is author of over 150 articles, book chapters and editorials in refereed journals. As well as being technical director for AusAID’s regional HIV program, ARHP, he was technical director of AusAID’s Indonesian harm reduction program. He was principal investigator on an AusAID funded research project in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, on the influence of harm reduction on police.


Caroline GeradtsCaroline Geradts

Management Support, Legal Department,
Dutch Police Service, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Caroline Geradts studied Law at VU University Amsterdam. She worked for the City of Amsterdam as a lawyer. In 2006 she started working as an advisor to the Amsterdam Police and is now coordinating the legal department. She joined the organisation of LEPH2014 Conference to promote the event among Dutch police officers. The success of the 2014 event incited her to become a member of the organising committee for the LEPH2016 conference.


Thijs FassaertDr Thijs Fassaert

Epidemiologist, Public Health Service, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Thijs Fassaert studied Health Sciences at the University of Maastricht, the Netherlands. After that he worked several years with the Netherlands institute for health services research (NIVEL) in Utrecht. In 2006 he started as a PhD candidate at the Public Health Service in Amsterdam. He received his PhD in 2011 for his thesis on accessibility of mental health care services in the Netherlands for patients with a migrant background. Since then he is involved in several research projects within the domain of Public Mental Health Care. Among these are the development of an instrument to evaluate self-sufficiency of vulnerable populations (the Self-sufficiency Matrix) and the construction of a tool that helps determine the quality of psychosocial care delivered by professionals during the aftermath of disasters. Also, Thijs is involved with several studies that are conducted for the Top600 project, a program that aims to reduce the number of violent crimes, raids, street robberies and burglaries (high-impact criminality). As an epidemiologist Thijs is registered with the Dutch Association for Epidemiology.


Melissa JardineMelissa Jardine

Centre for Law Enforcement and Public Health, Australia (Communications)

Melissa served as a police officer with Australia’s Victoria Police for 10 years. Working at the street level and in special investigation units, she gained a raft of experience in operational policing and illicit drug investigations.

Melissa has a special interest in working with police in the Asia region, and, in 2006 completed a Master of Asian Studies at Monash University. She also completed a Master of Philosophy in 2013 at The University of Melbourne where she studied micro and macro influences on street policing in Vietnam with respect to harm reduction approaches and law enforcement. Melissa has a wealth of knowledge on drug law enforcement, police culture and practice, theoretical models of police behaviour and harm reduction advocacy for law enforcement.

She is currently a PhD Candidate at the University of New South Wales researching: Policing in a Changing Vietnam.


Mieke MMieke Mertens

City of Amsterdam

Mieke Mertens is working for the department of Public Order and Safety of the City of Amsterdam. She works as a secretary to the so called ‘triangle’ with the local government, the police and the public prosecution regarding the safety in Amsterdam. In this triangle, the subjects usually discussed are public safety at large scale events, CCTV, city guards, prevention of violence at football matches, policy on coffee shops. Mieke Mertens also works as a project manager for the Top1000: an integrated approach to dealing with the ‘top’ 1000 repeat offenders in Amsterdam.


Bill Stronach

Bill Stronach (Chairperson)

Bill Stronach spent 18 years as the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Drug Foundation which is one of Australia’s leading non-government organisations concerned with the prevention and reduction of drug related harms. Prior to this position, he was Director of Grassmere Youth Services located on the outskirts of Melbourne, working with juvenile offenders, homeless and sexually abused young people and their families. For twelve years before this he taught in secondary schools in the state of Victoria and the UK.

He was a Founding director and treasurer of Harm Reduction International (formerly the International Harm Reduction Association); a Director of the International Consortium on Alcohol and Harm Reduction and a member of the Victorian Child Death Review Committee. Hel has chaired the Boards of Anex (Association of Needle and Syringe Programs), Harm Reduction Victoria and the City of Melbourne’s Safe City Licensees Accord Monitoring Committee.
He was previously a member of the Victorian Premier’s Drug Prevention Council, the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Prevention Council, the Victorian Government’s Alcohol Strategy Planning Group and the Advisory Committee for the Centre for Harm Reduction at the Burnet Centre, Melbourne, Australia

Bill was Chairman of the Organising Committees for the 3rd (Melbourne), 7th (Hobart) and 15th (Melbourne) International Conferences on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm and LEPH2012 & LEPH2014. He brings extensive conference organising and management experience both within and beyond the public health sector.

He has been a consultant and advisor on many policy matters and projects in Australia and overseas, and contributed chapters to a number of public health, drug prevention or harm reduction publications.


Fleur ThomeseDr Fleur Thomese

Associate Professor in Sociology, Faculty of Social Science,
VU University

Fleur Thomese is an Associate Professor in Sociology, Faculty of Social Science, VU University, and Director of the Talma Institute for the Study of Work, Care and Welfare, a knowledge and expert center of VU University Amsterdam on changing welfare states. The institute connects high level, independent and interdisciplinary research with societal questions, and intends to work in close collaboration with stakeholders on the renewal of social security in The Netherlands and Europe.


Auke van DijkAuke van Dijk

Agora Police & Security, Dutch Police Service, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Auke van Dijk is advisor to the chief of the Amsterdam police and strategist at the think tank Agora Police & Security. He has an academic background in international relations theory and international political economy. He has been senior advisor at the Committee for Evaluation of Intelligence and Security Services and was a member of the Vision on Policing Committee (Council of Chief Police Commissioners) that delivered a new comprehensive strategy for future policing.

He is cofounder of the Agora Police & Security. The Agora is an experimental space for thinking and debate among practitioners and academics. The central aim is to enhance the organisation’s ability to think; more specifically to make sense of the societal context and its current or future consequences for day-to-day policing, and to question the way ‘things are done’ by and in the organisation. The Agora is an ‘intellectual playing ground’ and a ‘safe haven’ for the development of new ideas and for contradicting current insights and policy.

Recent themes in his work are: the common ground of law enforcement and public health, vulnerable groups, policing a diverse society, and values-based leadership.


Richard van StedanAssociate Professor Ronald van Steden

VU University, Amsterdam

Dr Ronald van Steden is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands. His fields of interest are threefold. First, how does the ‘pluralization’ of policing – i.e. the growth of private security and municipal law enforcement, and their position vis-à-vis the police – develop in the Netherlands and elsewhere? Second, what are mechanisms of the ‘governance’ of local security? The focus here is on public-private partnerships between police, health care, schools, housing associations, and other neighborhood-based institutions. Third, what are relationships between citizenship and the police? This line of research includes issues such as active citizens joining neighborhood watches, voluntary police (or special constables), and police-citizen interaction in an urban multicultural context. Ronald closely works together with the Amsterdam Police force. He is also associated to the Stichting Maatschappij en Veiligheid, an independent foundation established to monitor and conduct research on the field of policing and security.