Pioneering research by the Universities' Police Science Institute (UPSI)
has made police more effective at understanding and responding to crime
and disorder. UPSI's work has provided an evidence base about how to
engage effectively with communities so that policing interventions target
those issues influencing how people think, feel and act about their
safety. Key impacts have been: changing Home Office policy for the
policing of antisocial behaviour across England and Wales; informing the
Prevent counter-terrorism strategy for the UK and overseas and improving
the outcomes of South Wales Police's Neighbourhood Policing Teams.
Research into the history of British policing overseas, conducted at the
Open University's International Centre for the History of Crime,
Policing and Justice, resulted in Dr Georgina Sinclair
acting as academic advisor to the Association of Chief Police Officers
(International Affairs), the International Policing Assistance Board, and
the Ministry of Defence Police.
As a result of the transfer of historical research findings and
methodological expertise, the various agencies deploying police officers
overseas now coordinate more effectively via an improved communications
and media strategy. In addition a new set of principles and guidance for
overseas deployments has been developed, with Sinclair serving as
the sole academic member of the working group preparing this document.
The University of Portsmouth research into effective use of the Cognitive
Interview (CI) by police forces in the UK and overseas has led to
recommendations for changes to training of police officers in this field
throughout their careers being adopted in several countries across the
world. The work, led by Dr Becky Milne, has also been used to inform the
decision making processes of a variety of national policy reviews and
professional bodies. Research has improved the standard of interviewing,
particularly for sensitive investigations such as rape and child abuse.
The Unit's Criminal Justice group has carried out a significant body of
research relating to youth disaffection, anti-social behaviour and
policing. This led to Professor Tim Newburn being approached by The
Guardian to establish a joint research project following the 2011
riots in England. The ensuing research achieved very wide reach via
conventional print and other media, informing public understanding of the
riots and challenging conventional wisdom about their causes. A wide range
of public figures reacted to the research and the Home Secretary's
response included the announcement of a formal review of police `stop and
search' practice. This was published in July 2013, and in a parliamentary
statement the Home Secretary said she anticipated significant reform of
the use of these powers.
This case study focuses on Aisha Gill's ground-breaking research on
violence against women (VAW) in the UK, Iraqi Kurdistan and India as part
of the Crucible Centre for Human Rights Research. Gill's research has had
a direct impact on local, national and international policy-making and
professional practice, in particular, in relation to `honour' based
violence (HBV) and forced marriage (FM). This has underpinned her work as
an academic commentator, with a strong media profile, her reports and
policy briefings on VAW for UK and international public and third sector
agencies, as well as an expert witness for the Crown Prosecution Service
on HBV and FM cases.
A University of Surrey-led programme of research on `Signal Crimes',
`Neighbourhood Policing' has had the impact of improving the quality of
life for citizens in the UK.
This research produced transferable outputs that have helped to shape the
organisation and practice of policing at the national and local level.
The research was of foundational importance for the development of the
Policing Programme, and later the Neighbourhood Policing Programme now
used by all police
These outputs have had a positive impact on self-reported victimisation,
public confidence in
policing and in public perceptions of crime at the local level.
Safety and liberty — public goods delivered by the police — are important
to every individual and essential to a civilised society. Professor
Bowling has led a programme of theoretical and empirical research on the
police power to stop and search people in public places, an important but
controversial aspect of law enforcement. His research has clarified the
meaning of fair and effective policing, and provided solutions to
identified problems of disproportionality and transparency. Through his
engagement with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), police
forces, civil liberties groups and communities, Professor Bowling's
research has informed public understanding, enhanced police accountability
and contributed directly to the improvement in police stop and search
practices, thereby enhancing community safety and protecting fundamental
human rights and civil liberties in the UK.
Improvements in the organisation and delivery of community safety by
police and local authority-led partnerships have resulted from
inter-related research studies conducted by a team at the Centre for
Criminal Justice Studies. Research findings have significantly influenced
national policy and professional policing and community safety practices.
The research led to improvements in how important new reforms to policing
powers and personnel have been implemented and in community safety
delivered through partnerships. It also increased understanding of the
benefits and limitations of policing partnerships, powers designed to
tackle anti-social behaviour and the role of police community support
officers in fostering safer communities.
This case study is based on the use of storytelling research developed in
Sunderland, to develop professional practice, management development, and
interviewing approaches within the police. The research and subsequent
impact developed from the convergence of three separate streams of work:
The exploration of storytelling as a means to management and
organisational development (the work of Reissner and Du Toit), use of
storytelling as a research method (Sanders and Lawson) and a stream
exploring investigative interviewing techniques. Application of the
approaches developed at Sunderland within the police force regionally and
nationally has led to evidenced impact at several levels: individual
officers, force development and national policy on interviewing practice.
The impact claimed in this case study is on debate at Government/
Parliament level. O'Neill's black letter law research into the EU
provisions on cross border law enforcement and counter-terrorism
activities has fed into her submissions to the House of Lords European
Union Committee inquiry into EU police and criminal justice measures: The
UK's 2014 opt-out decision. The views of the committee have already been
published. The UK government's formal decision on the opt-out still has to
be made. Whatever decision is taken will have a European/ International
impact on cross border law enforcement, counter-terrorism and justice
provisions and practice.