Weekly academic research summary
LATEST RESEARCH: This summary curates the key policing-related research that's been published online in the last week, with links to the original journal articles, and selected abstracts.
ANALYSIS: When the Government announced its intention to recruit an additional 20,000 officers in under four years, there were many who doubted it could be done, but the target has been surpassed by some way; with headcount grown by 20,951 from the November 2019 baseline, and only one force – the Metropolitan Police – failing to recruit its allocation, Ian Wiggett takes a deeper look at what all this means for the service.
OPINION: The role of leaders in policing has never been under closer scrutiny, but not all of those in command roles can point to a wealth of experience in operational leadership; former Police Scotland superintendent Martin Gallagher believes that successful operational experience – alongside ability and achievement – should be a cornerstone for promotion to the most senior roles.
FEATURE: The authors of a new report – the second in a series of five on policing ‘seldom-heard groups’ published by Police Scotland, the Scottish Institute for Policing Research and the Scottish Police Authority – have highlighted greater visibility and engagement, better cultural awareness and more funding among the key steps to building better relationships between Police Scotland and refugee and asylum seeker communities, as Policing Insight’s Sarah Gibbons reports.
INNOVATION: In a ground-breaking Lincolnshire Police initiative, the first Indirect Victim Support Officer is now offering help, advice and guidance to the partners and children of online child sexual abuse material (CSAM) offenders left devastated by their family member’s activities; PC Tom Scott spoke to Policing Insight’s Keith Potter about closing the gap in support, delivering on the duty of care, and bringing benefits for policing.
INTERVIEW: With Warwickshire Police enjoying record officer numbers following the recent Uplift recruitment programme, and a strategic alliance with neighbouring West Mercia ending, the force took the decision to remodel its workforce and operations; Deputy Chief Constable Alex Franklin-Smith spoke to Policing Insight’s Sarah Gibbons about the aims for performance improvements, and how the changes could future-proof the service to the public.
OPINION: Three Ontario Provincial Police officers involved in the fatal shooting of an 18-month-old baby and his father are shortly due to stand trial for manslaughter; Adjunct Professor Patrick G Watson, Postdoctoral Fellow Carmen Nave and PhD Candidate T Sidhu believe that aside from holding officers accountable for their actions, such trials are also positive mechanisms that allow for public scrutiny of the use-of-force training, policies and practices of police forces.
FEATURE: The new National Fraud Strategy has been welcomed by many, especially as the last full national plan expired back in 2011; but alongside the resources the new strategy provides – including 400 investigators and a new reporting service – it comes with a tough target to cut fraud offences by 10% in just over two years, as Policing Insight’s James Sweetland reports.
ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE: Evidence from a series of police reviews and inquiries in recent years has revealed serious and systemic misogyny and violence against women and girls in policing. Both police culture, and police vetting, misconduct, and disciplinary practices have been identified as contributing to this situation. This event, supported by Policing Insight as media partner, brings police researchers, stakeholders and practitioners together to explore these issues, share knowledge in the field, and ultimately shape a research agenda for the future.
OPINION: While full details are yet to be confirmed, some initial information is emerging about the latest ‘fourth route’ non-degree entry into UK policing; former officer and University of Derby Policing Lecturer Tom Andrews fears the new pathway could prompt concerns over validation, delivery, and additional costs for forces.
ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE: LEPH2023 Europe (21-24 May, supported by Policing Insight as media partner, is the first regional European conference exploring the complex and diverse intersections of law enforcement and public health, involving practitioners, policy makers and researchers from these and other related sectors. It carries on the international LEPH conference series, with an opportunity to focus on key regional issues.
INTERVIEW: Having taken up a role in the private sector after a lengthy and successful career in the United States Secret Service, Kim Cheatle returned to the agency as its Director last summer, with a glowing endorsement from President Joe Biden; she recently spoke to Policing Insight’s Christine Townsend about her passion for the job, her admiration for her colleagues, and the partnerships being built by the Secret Service to tackle new and emerging crimes and threats.
OPINION: Online child sexual abuse activity has reached staggeringly high levels and increasing depravity; ahead of this month’s Policing Institute for the East Region (PIER) conference on tackling online harms, Simon Bailey, former Chief Constable of Norfolk and now PIER Chair, argues that a whole system approach to the issue – including education and regulation – is essential, as is the better use of technology by law enforcement.
INTERVIEW: In the latest in a series of interviews with leading figures involved in the research and investigation of organised crime, Policing Insight’s Chris Allen spoke to former police superintendent Colin Carswell, Director of the Counter Trafficking Network, about his investigations into large-scale human trafficking as a police officer, the importance of partnership working, and the need to ‘follow the money’ to combat organised crime.
ANALYSIS: The policing of public protest in France over the past decade has been characterised by both stronger use of force and tougher penal tools against protesters; Professor Jacques de Maillard and Dr Aurélien Restelli argue that an apparent ‘softening’ of approach has failed to materialise, with recent pension protests prompting more aggressive policing methods, and little sign that de-escalation techniques are likely to be employed.
OPINION: The increasing demands on policing to respond to those in mental health crises are creating significant burdens on police resources, and a potentially inadequate service to the public; Vernon White, former Chief of Police for Ottawa Police Service and Senator in the Canadian Parliament, and Joe Carlebach, former Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health at Hammersmith and Fulham Council, believe the solution is to address the systemic problems in mental health care rather than more training for police officers.
FEATURE: A police officer who endured years of sexual abuse is working to establish a network of victim survivor ambassadors across police forces in England and Wales to improve the service delivered to victims of sexual abuse and violence; Policing Insight’s Sarah Gibbons spoke to the City of London’s PC Jon-Jay Needham about the benefits the independent advocate could deliver both for victims and policing.
OPINION: The findings of the recent Casey Review are likely to have the Metropolitan Police and other forces promoting their values and drawing a line in the sand over inappropriate behaviour; but workplace relationships expert Arran Heal believes the best way to develop a positive ‘Clear Air’ culture is by clearly stating behaviours the organisation wants people to exhibit, supported by training in the skills that people need.
FEATURE: A new approach to traffic policing is applying the evidence-based principles of the Cambridge Crime Harm Index to target serious traffic collision hot spots in Cumbria; Policing Insight’s Sarah Gibbons spoke to Sgt Jack Stabler of Cumbria Constabulary about the thinking behind the new Road Harm Index, and the benefits the initiative could bring for police, partners and the public.
ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE: Digital transformation is pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in policing – from data analytics and mobile workforce optimization to online citizen engagement and investigations. But when it comes to delivering on the promise of digital transformation, one technology that police departments are embracing in growing numbers is cloud-based DEMS (Digital Evidence Management System). This article explores 12 powerful ways that DEMS is transforming policing, from crime to justice.
INTERVIEW: Policing has long struggled to deliver digital transformation programmes, especially those seeking to replace major pieces of legacy IT; but with COVID-19 adding fresh impetus to the digital agenda and the national strategy set for a ‘refresh’, Ian Bell, CEO of the Police Digital Service, sees exciting opportunities on the horizon, as Policing Insight’s James Sweetland reports.
OPINION: A new report into the policing of the 2022 occupation of parliamentary grounds in Wellington describes a largely successful operation with a positive outcome; but Professors Alexander Gillespie and Claire Breen of the University of Waikato warn that while policing has moved on significantly since previous high-profile demonstrations, there is still room for improvement around practice, equipment, legislation, and ensuring police independence.
ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE: The Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies will host a conference on the topic of police education on Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 June 2023. The conference, supported by Policing Insight as media partner, will be of interest and relevance to police practitioners, senior officers, and managers, particularly those who are involved in training and development. Equally to those who are involved in the development and delivery of police education in higher education and those preparing students for these programmes.
FEATURE: In the second of a new series of The Police Student focusing on Criminology in Policing, Policing Insight Academic Editor Dr Carina O’Reilly looks at the classical concept of crime as a rational act, and considers traditional justice, enlightened thinking, and the range of critiques which have founded the wider discipline of criminology.