N8 Policing Research Partnership
The Staff Exchange and PhD Internship Scheme has now been rolled out and two successful bids have been awarded in the first round:
Staff Exchange award: ‘Policing Ethics’. (Durham University and Durham Constabulary) – this project aims to contribute to the development and implementation of an Ethics Committee at Durham Constabulary.
PhD Internship award: From ‘Report to Court’: A Comparative, qualitative study of police domestic abuse recording practices and responses. (Durham University and Cumbria Constabulary with involvement from GMP and Northumbria Police).
A rolling open call will continue to provide funds to support projects into targeted and important areas of policing work, where the gaps in knowledge are most prominent and where research benefits are of greatest value. It will provide the necessary flexibility to move swiftly to respond to emergent areas of policing, new challenges and pressing concerns. Ideas generated via the ‘Policing Innovation Forum’ are particularly welcomed, as are proposals that link to other activity strands and build upon stakeholder involvement in the development of research questions. The exchange scheme operates on a number of application dates annually, allowing organisations to apply for funding at the time of year it suits them as an organisation.
Staff Exchange Pilot 2015/16
A collaborative project between Durham Constabulary and the University of Sheffield has undertaken an exploratory study of extending the use of restorative justice practices in new and innovative ways. The project represented the first pilot of the N8PRP’s Staff Exchange scheme and explored the views of key stakeholders concerning the feasibility of introducing restorative approaches in the context of organised crime offending.
Final Report here
2017 Knowledge Exchange (KE) Conference took place 12 June – ‘Lessons from Duluth and Beyond: Policing Domestic Abuse as Part of a Coordinated Community Response‘.
Presentations/Report available soon.
The People & Knowledge Exchange successfully delivered the first KE conference on June 8th 2016 – ‘Workforce of the Future of Policing‘
This conference provided an opportunity for delegates to discuss and exchange existing knowledge to better understand and react to the workforce challenges of the future. Topics covered in presentations and workshops included:
Small Grant Awards 2016/17
Five projects have been funded in year 2 with the partnership providing almost £100,000 of seed-corn funding to support research into urgent areas of police work:
More information about the funded projects including contacts can be found here.
Small Grant Awards 2015/16
The Research Co-Production strand were able to fund three bids for the 2016 awards. Awards were decided by steering group members:
PGR projects have been devised in collaboration with police partners. These have been recruited against competitive fields and dissemination of finding is expected 2020:
The strand will also seek to explore public attitudes towards evidence-informed policing. What role do the public think universities and other research organisations should play in informing and supporting police work?
Strand Update 1 – Engagement – What, why, who, how
Strand Update 2 – Strategic Approaches to Police-Community Engagement in the North of England
Strand Update 3 – Police-Community Engagement Showcase
Strand Update 4 – Online Survey of the Public
Strand Update 5 – Street Survey
Strand Update 6 – Interviews with Community Engagement Practitioners – Emerging Findings
Strand Update 7 – Designing Deliberative Events
N8 PRP Police-Community Engagement Showcase Event
On Tuesday 9th May the Public Engagement Strand of the N8 Policing Research Partnership hosted a “Police-Community Engagement Showcase” event in Leeds. The event wasan opportunity for policing practitioners and researchers to showcase innovation, experimentation and good practice in police-community engagement and to meet other police officers and staff, and researchers, who are interested in community engagement. Attendees at this event have also been invited to engage with the N8 PRP Public Engagement Strategic Network.
Documents/Presentations from the event can be found on the recently launched N8 PRP Public Engagement Working Group Hub:
Police-Community Engagement Network
A secure online hub has been created as a way for Police-Community Engagement Network members across the N8 (and beyond) to exchange information and discuss current practice and new ideas, as well as download relevant documents. Steering group members have also been given access to the hub found here. Currently in its infancy its is hoped the network hub will continue to evolve and help shape future strand activities.
Public Engagement (PE) Collaborative Seminar
The inaugural PE seminar was held at University of Leeds on 7th January 2016. Participants were asked to provide short briefings about their organisations’ approaches to engagement, addressing the following questions:
• Why do/should we engage with the public?
• Who do/should we engage with?
• What do/should we engage with the public about?
• What form does/should engagement take?
A variety of responses were outlined and can be found in the strand update 1 (above).
Public Engagement Strategic Network
Following telephone discussion with strategic leads for engagement within the different police forces and OPCCs the strand lead will collate information from their community engagement strategy and activity plan documents to gain a better understanding of the engagement landscape in the North of England.
Workshops: by end of November 2017 seven training and learning workshops have been developed and delivered:
Planned events, more info to follow:
Review of Police Training and Learning Development
The N8 PRP Training and Learning strand recently coordinated a research project on training and learning in the N8 Policing Research Partnership (PRP), in order to:
Dr Cheryl Simmill-Binning was the Research Associate, based at Lancaster University, who carried out the data collection for the project. Cheryl was in touch with the N8 PRP police forces to conduct a range of interviews. The data generated by these interviews with key policing staff was used to develop a survey on training and learning for wider dissemination in the N8 PRP police forces.
The final report on the research findings can be found HERE
For further information about the project contact: Dr Jude Towers (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The strand has now delivered three annual PIFs:
It is intended that discussions/activities at the PIF should feed into other strand activities, namely Small Grant Awards, Training and Learning and Knowledge Exchange.
Current linked outputs
Currently developing pop up series to compliment annual PIF.
Newcastle University and Northumbria Police, funded by N8PRP
This project will gain insight into the impact on current policing practice of novel Psychoactive Substance (NPS) use.
The work will have two linked strands:
As well as offering an insight into risks and harmful behaviours connected with NPS use, the project will explore perceptions about the legality and impending illegality of NPS use, its relationship with wider substance use (classified drugs and alcohol), and how police custody suite interactions are viewed and managed by a range of police staff and detainees.
This study hopes to build evidence in the relatively under researched area of NPS use and develop collaborative links right across health and criminal justice services.
Principal Investigator: Professor Eileen Kaner
University of Manchester, University of Leeds and Greater Manchester Police, funded by N8 PRP
The main aim of this collaboration is to establish a profile of human trafficking incidents and offences known to GMP since the implementation of the Modern Slavery Coordination Unit (MSCU) in March 2015. Greater Manchester Police has been collating a database of such incidents and offences since this time. The database includes details of over 250 cases, including those that were reported to the National Referral Mechanism, and those that were reported to or detected by the police. Many such offences are facilitated to some degree online, via websites and social media, and the database has some relevant details that can be extracted about the cyber components of such crimes. Other information contained in the database includes: the nationalities of victims and offenders; the types of offences committed; the charges brought; the locations of the activity and the success or otherwise of convictions; and the progress made with the investigation.
As it stands, GMP and the multiagency Challenger Team (including Immigration, UK Border Force, Gangmasters Licensing Authority, and local authority professionals) have no capacity to include all information in the database and to perform a thoroughgoing analysis of it. This analysis is much needed, however, for it can reveal how the new law is working, where policing efforts are successful, as well as something of those cases, victims and offenders that are not so readily resolved under the Modern Slavery Act.
Through an analysis of the complete dataset we will produce the following four outcomes
Principal Investigator: Professor David Gadd
Greater Manchester Police, North West Regional Organised Crime Unit, University of Leeds, University of Liverpool, Birmingham City University and Crown Prosecution Service, funded by N8PRP
Cryptocurrency has increasingly become a common method of value exchange in a number of types of criminal activity such as Ransomware cases for example, where victims of extortion included police forces. Significantly, in 2014, the Greater Manchester Police Economic Crime Unit investigated a case in which several million pounds of Bitcoin were stolen from an international victim by a locally based Manchester criminal. Following a complex investigation the victim refused to provide an evidential statement to the police, stating that he would bear the loss of 3 million dollars rather than lose his reputation in the cryptocurrency community. The Crown Prosecution decided that there was not enough evidence to pursue a prosecution and the case was dropped. Recently, Operation Viscount highlighted the fact that the police alone cannot successfully investigate cases involving cryptocurrencies.
The objective of this research is therefore to bring together interdisciplinerary experts from national and local law enforcement, academia, the Crown Prosecution Service, private industry and the financial sector in order to explore and comment upon the various challenges that cryptocurrecncies, such as Bitcoins, create for the police.
Contact: Phil Larratt or Professor David Wall
The regulation and policing of drugs at festivals: exploring the tensions between transgression, control and harm reduction in commercialised ‘liminal space’
The study will explore the use of legal and illegal psychoactive drugs at UK music festivals alongside the policing and management of festivals, public safety and intoxication within them. The PhD will include mixed methods research with a range of stakeholders on and off site, as well as festival-goers, to investigate how crime and ‘deviance’ is negotiated and managed within a carnivalesque or ‘liminal’ leisure space. Particular attention will be paid to the relationships between policing, security, forensic drug testing, medical and welfare service provision. It is envisaged that the research will include two north west police forces with medium/large annual summer music festivals such as GMP/Parklife/; Cheshire/Creamfields and Cumbria/Kendal Calling with the student working closely with police at these events.
This collaborative studentship is one of nine being supported by the N8 Policing Research Partnership (N8 PRP) – see www.n8prp.org.uk – as part of a Higher Education Council for England funded programme “Innovation and the Application of Knowledge for More Effective Policing”. The studentship includes payment of three years’ tuition fees to a maximum of the given Home/EU rate. Students also receive a three year maintenance grant of approx. £9,500.00 per annum.
The student will be based in the School of Applied Social Sciences, Durham University, under the supervision of Professor Fiona Measham, and Dr Kate O’Brien and a member of a partnering police force. More information about the School and Durham University can be found on out web pages –www.dur.ac.uk/sass. For informal enquiries concerning this PhD please contact:
Fiona Measham – email@example.com
Applicants are welcome from a range of disciplinary backgrounds. Applicants should hold a good Honours degree and a relevant Masters’ qualification is also desirable, although comparable professional experience will also be considered.
How to apply
Applications should be made via – https://banss.dur.ac.uk/blive_ssb/bwskalog.P_DispLoginNon with funding entered as ‘N8 Studentship’ program code L3A101. Supporting documents should be either uploaded or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Selection will be based on application documents and interview.
Supporting documents and enquiries regarding the application process should be forwarded to email@example.com.
Application deadline: midnight 17th August 2017 Interviews for shortlisted candidates scheduled for 5th September 2017 with candidates expected to attend interviews in person, in Durham.
Original advert here
Organisation/Institution: Lancaster University
Role: Lecturer in Investigative Expertise
Kirk received his MsC and PhD in Psychology from Memorial University in Canada. He joined Lancaster University in 2017 as a Lecturer in Investigative Expertise. Kirk has been providing instruction on the PEACE Model of Investigative Interviewing since 2010. Over the past number of years, he has been training and lecturing on PEACE to a wide variety of groups such as police agencies, government departments, and non-profit organisations. He has also consulted on numerous court cases.
Kirk’s research has led him to collaborate with researchers and practitioners around the world. His research pertains primarily to the study of human behaviour within the criminal justice system. Specifically, he has conducted extensive research on investigative interviewing practices and safeguarding legal rights for adult and youth suspects. Overall, Kirk strives to conduct research that is of real-world relevance to police organisations and other practitioners. He is always eager to collaborate with practitioners who are looking to solve an applied issue with evidence-based decision making.
Kirk is currently working on a number of projects in relation to investigative interviewing. He was recently award a grant from N8 to examine the manipulative behaviours of suspects in control and coercion cases. He is also currently conducting research on the impact of culture in regards to the effectiveness of the Cognitive Interview. In addition, he recently began work examining the comprehension of legal rights among youth detainees. Kirk is also conducting research examining best practices for administering feedback to reduce skill fade post-training.
You can stay up-to-date with Kirk’s research by checking out his personal website: www.kirkluther.com
“It is extremely rewarding to be involved with the N8 Policing Research Partnership. This initiative represents an excellent opportunity for researchers and practitioners to work together and solve real-world problems“.
Organisation/Institution: University of Sheffield
Position: Lecturer in Criminology and Social Policy
I joined the Department of Sociological Studies at the University of Sheffield as a Lecturer in Criminology and Social Policy in September 2015 having previously worked at the department between 2012 and 2014. Previous to this, I completed my undergraduate law degree at Durham University in 2006. During these studies, my interests moved towards the sociology of deviance and the criminal justice system. As a result, following my undergraduate studies, I undertook an MA in Criminology at the University of Leeds and I subsequently completed a PhD in Criminology at Teesside University.
My doctoral thesis concerned law enforcement and government definitions of serious and organised crime and the impact upon contemporary police measures. As part of this research, I carried out an ethnographic case study of an active tobacco smuggling enterprise. I subsequently worked as a research associate at the Universities of Sheffield and Leeds on international and national research projects concerning surveillance and policing.
I have recently undertaken a number of research projects which have involved working in close collaboration with colleagues in law enforcement. I have recently undertaken research with South Yorkshire Police concerning neighbourhood policing and community engagement practices. Working with a wide range of police officers and PCC staff, the research sought to critically assess existing neighbourhood policing provisions as well as propose, based on the views of police practitioners, what a future neighbourhood policing may constitute.
Moreover, I have recently completed a study of collaborative working within the police on behalf of North East Transformation, Innovation and Collaboration and the N8 PRP. The research engaged with police officers and staff actively involved in a wide range of inter-force collaborations across the North East policing region with a view to identifying both obstacles and facilitators of effective collaborative working. The importance of collaboration and partnership work in policing is becoming increasingly prominent, particularly in the context of ongoing challenging financial conditions. Hence this study of inter-force collaborations seeks to offer valuable insights for researchers and practitioners alike. Written findings will be available soon.
I am actively pursuing various research interests and developing further publications in the fields of organised crime, policing and surveillance. I welcome any research-related enquiries in these areas with a view to building greater partnerships with key stakeholders and research end-users and developing future research.
N8 PRP Blog “Possibilities for organisational learning and culture change through policing partnerships in safeguarding children”
Recent publications links:
Member of the Centre for Criminological Research (University of Sheffield)
“Having been involved in various projects linked to the N8PRP, I have experienced firsthand the wealth of opportunities available through this research collaboration. As a platform to connect with policing practitioners as well as other researchers, the N8PRP represents a great opportunity to develop genuinely collaborative, co-produced research which not only develops academic knowledge but also plays a central role in enhancing policy and practice. I look forward to completing existing work and developing future research collaborations as part of the N8PRP”.
Engagement and Consultation
The strand has established three advisory groups and worked with police staff, university staff and academics to design the Data Analytics Digital Service.
Developing a Digital Service
The Data Analytics Digital Service will shortly launch and offer a number of services to support both police and academic staff with their research needs, including:
The strand has provided and contributed to a number of training and learning events, these have included:
The Data Analytics Digital Service will provide an effective screening mechanism that will signpost researchers to the most appropriate resources for their projects, improving and streamlining data sharing processes will improve the flow of data between police forces and the research community, reducing risks, saving time and related costs.
Collaborative workspaces will improve the quality and relevance of research by facilitating dialogue between partners and allowing for the dissemination of best practice.
Training and learning opportunities will empower police data specialists to develop the innovative solutions that are needed to support evidence based decision making.
University of York collaborative PhD with North Yorkshire Police
Researcher: Chloe Boyce
Principle Supervisor: Patrick Gallimore
The project aims to explore the value of Problem Based Learning methods in initial police training. Problem Based Learning has been developed in other professional training in the UK (specifically medicine and nursing) and in police training in other jurisdictions. The aim of the project is therefore to evaluate existing initial police training pedagogy in a UK policing context. It will also involve the devising and delivering of Problem Based Learning methods for some or all training of those entering or intending to enter police forces and then to evaluate these initiatives. It is intended that the PhD will contribute to existing scholarship and practices in police training.
Currently implementing Problem Based Learning training method in relation to domestic abuse.
Notes from the researcher:
In Problem Based Learning, learning is student- centred learning technique that challenges students to learn through engagement in a real problem. Problem Based Learning simultaneously develops both problem solving strategies and disciplinary knowledge bases and skills by shifting the focus on teaching to learning. Problem Based Learning is initiated by an authentic ill-structured problem because learning is derived from interactions with contexts in which they are working (Hung et al, 2008). Learning is enhanced by Problem Based Learning as it provides a highly motivational environment (Kilroy, 2004). The emphasis is placed on a person’s ability to seek out and understand relevant information to information to tackle a problem, analyse a given scenario and the collect whatever additional information they think might be needed to address these objectives (Kilroy, 2004).
Police Society for Problem Based Learning
University of Leeds and West Yorkshire Police, Safer Leeds
An incoming fellow from West Yorkshire Police (Safer Leeds) will be based in the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA) for a day a week over the coming year to work on the following project:
Historically, Licensed Taxi & Private Hire drivers are only allowed to undertake bookings in the area in which they are licensed (e.g. Leeds). However, the Deregulation Act (2015) enables them, using smart technology, to ply for hire in areas where they are not licensed. Licensing Authorities feel there has been a misinterpretation of the act, now exploited by some Private Hire Companies, which in practice operates akin to a national licensing system that enables drivers to work anywhere in England & Wales regardless of where they have been licensed. The Act has several serious implications, namely:
The potential implication is that passengers are at greater risk from drivers who are not under the same level of scrutiny as they would have been prior to the Deregulation Act.
University of Leeds, Lancashire Constabulary and Safer Lancashire, funded by ERSC (The Economic and Social Research Council) & LSSI (Leeds Social Sciences Institute) IAA (Impact Acceleration Account)
Understanding hate crime is a priority for police forces across England and Wales. Since the recent EU referendum there has been renewed emphasis on the importance of preventing hate crime and providing support for victims.
This project will develop new relationships between academics, Lancashire Constabulary and the Safer Lancashire Partnership with which to drive the improvements in policing and service provision for victims of religiously and racially motivated hate crime.
It will enhance learning between academic partners and policing colleagues in methods for overlaying demographic, voting and Twitter data with routinely captured police data in novel ways to develop a richer and more nuanced understanding of the dynamic and changing risks to communities.
The project has been designed with Lancashire Constabulary and Safer Lancashire to enable them to develop new methods for analysing data in relation to hate crime. The learning from this project will assess crime prevention and community safety partners to target finite resources more effectively to prevent hate crime and provide suitable services for victims by targeting communities of greatest risk. Moreover, it will develop their skills in using new data sets and methods which can be later applied to other crime ‘problems’.
Principal Investigator: Dr Carly Lightowlers
Newcastle University collaborative PhD with Northumbria Police
Researcher: Gary Pankhurst
Principle Supervisor: Dr Gavin E Oxburgh
Obtaining detailed and reliable information from suspects of sexual offences is essential for criminal investigations. However, some interviewing officers find conducting interviews with such suspects very stressful (particularly offences against children). Although some research has found that using an empathic style of interviewing will yield more information, there is limited empirical research examining this style of interviewing and its efficacy during the interview process, especially if the interviewee has a mental health disorder or learning disability.
In a police context, empathy is not just about ‘showing’ empathy to the interviewee. It is also about having the ability to ‘understand’ the perspective of the interviewee, to appreciate the emotions and distress of the interviewee, and to communicate that directly (or indirectly) to them.
The focus of this PhD project will be on the development of advanced investigative interviewing techniques to facilitate more effective information retrieval from this cohort. To do this, the student will draw upon’: (i) Relevant theory relating to empathy and rapport-building; (ii) Current psychological theory on sexual offending, mental health disorders and learning disabilities (LD), and (iii) Psychological developments in investigative interviewing research.
University of Leeds Business School, funded by ERSC (The Economic and Social Research Council) & LSSI (Leeds Social Sciences Institute) IAA (Impact Acceleration Account)
Information and communication technologies are being used by the 43 police services in England and Wales, the Scottish and Northern Irish Police services in a variety of ways to improve the service that they provide and support citizens and colleagues with across the criminal justice service.
Using two national surveys, ten case studies, and two Delphi studies, this project explores the influence on policing of key ICT development areas, trends and challenges over the next decade.
The research commenced with two national surveys exploring the current and future state of technology infrastructure in the police, and the use and transformation of mobile information. These are followed by ten case studies investigating five themes: social media, predictive analytics, performance, mobile technologies, and sourcing/outsourcing. Finally, two Delphi research studies are being undertaken as a method of future forecasting, focusing upon the topics of technology and transformation in policing and ESN.
The project is supported by an Advisory Board with representation from the Home Office, Cabinet Office, Police ICT Company, College of Policing, and others.
Principal investigator: Professor David Allen
Lancaster University collaborative PhD with Lancashire Constabulary
Researcher: Lindsey Younsamouth
This project will enhance the impact of HE research in the policing sector through the development and testing of mechanisms of knowledge exchange to strengthen the evidence base on which police policy, practice and learning are developed and so support innovation and the professionalization of policing.
Policing provides a fertile terrain in which to forge new interdisciplinary research synergies both within the social sciences and across science, technology and engineering and to create productive innovations and societal impacts. It is hoped that the project will also improve knowledge mobilisation and impact by getting the best evidence to the appropriate policing decision formats and in a timely fashion to influence decision-making thus informing the possible transferability of learning from the police sector to other public services and sectors within and beyond the UK.
The proposal aligns closely with the ESRC strategic priorities in seeking to promote research excellence with impact and societal benefits.
University of Sheffield collaborative PhD with South Yorkshire Police
Researcher: Alice Corbally
Principle Supervisor: Dr Layla Skinns
The purpose of this PhD is to examine the form, extent and usefulness of police partnerships as a way of responding to risk. The PhD will focus on one of the following topics:
• Police partnerships responding to risks to children and young people
• Police partnerships and mental disorder
• Police partnerships and drug-related harms
• Risk, police partnerships and organisational change
University of Liverpool collaborative PhD with Merseyside Police
Researcher: Lisa Weston
Supervisors: Dr Mike Rowe and Dr Liz Turner
The research will develop a theme of interest emerging from an on-going ethnographic study of the use of discretion in policing Merseyside with an emphasis on Stop Search. Much of this work has focused upon the proactive roles in neighbourhood and response teams and the decisions that officers take. This research project will develop on these observations through a further study of police-community engagement activity, in its many forms and understandings, as budget constraints necessitate major review and reform of policing delivery. It will be concerned with how community engagement is changing, both as an idea and as operationalised. You will have the opportunity to observe the work of police officers and PCSTOs in neighbourhood teams located in different stations across Merseyside. This will include the opportunity to observe briefings, neighbourhood meetings and a plethora of other community engagement activities.
By collaborating closely with external partners (e.g. through the N8 PRP), the successful PhD student will have the opportunity to engage in knowledge-exchange with end-users of the research.
University of Leeds collaborative PhD with West Yorkshire Police
Researcher: Delcan Falconer
Principle Supervisor: Stuart Lister
This collaborative studentship will study the impacts of police use of Body-Worn Video (BWV) on public-police relations. Enabled by the growth of digital technology, the wearing of highly portable BWV cameras by police officers has a range of potential benefits. These include enhanced public reassurance, confidence and satisfaction with the police, greater reduction and detection of crime and disorder incidents, greater police efficiency and effectiveness, enhanced police accountability and transparency and so fewer complaints against the police. In this context, a growing number of UK police forces have invested significantly in this innovative technology. West Yorkshire Police has recently invested almost £3 million to equip all its front-line staff with BWV for the purpose of recording encounters between police officers and citizens in the context of actual or suspected crime and disorder incidents.
Working closely with West Yorkshire Police, this studentship will explore the impact of BWV on how policing is delivered and experienced. It will interrogate the contexts in which BWV is used by police, how it effects the decision-making and conduct both of police officers and those citizens being recorded (or who perceive they may be being recorded) within encounters.
The research will collect a range of data on
(1) the organisational policies governing the use of BWV by those frontline officers;
(2) its use by police officers;
(3) its reception among the public;
(4) its wider impacts for the police force.
The project will adopt a mixed method approach, including interviews and observations with police and citizens in order to collect data on a range of potential outcomes arising from BWV including; its impact on the level of public complaints against police officers, use of force by police officers, assaults on police, public confidence and satisfaction with police. Consequently, the project will generate a wide-range of learning that will inform future policy and practice of this highly important policing innovation.
University of Manchester collaborative PhD with Greater Manchester Police
Researcher: Martin Browne
Principle Supervisor: Dr Geoff Pearson
Football crowds pose a regular public order challenge to police forces in England and Wales, with a number of incidents of serious violence and disorder occurring each season. Football policing must have the capacity to respond to, and prevent, such incidents. However, there have been a number of instances where policing has been criticised as disproportionately restricting the rights of non-violent fans.
This project has been developed in partnership with Greater Manchester Police who have the responsibility for regularly managing numerous large football events. The PhD student will work with GMP’s football policing unit and focus on the following:
University of Manchester and Victoria University of Wellington, ESRC funded
Domestic violence is one of the most common forms of crime coming to the attention of the police. It can have severe and long-standing consequences. Yet our understanding of how to respond to domestic violence, despite various decades of research is limited. It is, thus, important to develop evidence that helps to improve our responses.
A particular response that became popular during the 1990s was to develop tools trying to identify those cases coming to the attention of the police that could result in more severe incidents in the future. As much as a third of domestic abuse cases may result in new calls to the police, but only a smaller percentage will result in more severe injuries. Given the volume of cases and the increasingly limited resources available, police and victim services organisations have used these predictive tools to focus their attention in those cases that have a higher probability of future harm. These predictions have very real consequences for they shape the level of responses.
In the UK the tool that most organisations and police forces use is called DASH. DASH was developed only by means of (1) reviewing the literature on intimate partner violence (IPV) characteristics and (2) by examining the features of a small non-random sample of homicides and near misses. There are more appropriate methods for developing and testing predictive models. These methods have been developed by statisticians and computer scientists and they are increasingly been used to improve the quality of decisions made in criminal justice. Our project aims to use these methods to evaluate the quality of the predictions made with DASH. We suspect DASH may work better in cases of IPV than in other cases in which it is applied, because of the way it was originally developed. We also suspect (based on existing research) that simply counting the presence of particular risk factors is not optimal -some factors may be more important or may particularly elevate risk when appearing in conjunction with others. Finally, we suspect there may be other characteristics of these cases that would lead to better predictions – given all we have learnt about domestic abuse since DASH was created. Our project will use data from the police and other organisations to explore if we can develop better predictive models that could result in tools to subsequently be piloted. We will also investigate the challenges the police would face to implement these new models. We know that it is possible to develop national risk assessment systems like the one we envisage (as in Spain), but we also know that implementing these changes would benefit from understanding the challenges associated with it.
Our second objective is to investigate if we can identify types of IPV. Various scholars have argued that IPV can be grouped in various types associated with different causes, evolution, and treatment needs. Although various researchers have been making this point for over 20 years now, we have little understanding of whether we can actually identify these types using police data. If we could identify particular profiles when they first come to the attention of the police, then potentially we could start experimenting with more tailored responses to the needs of each of these profiles.
Finally, our project is also trying to explore whether current responses to domestic abuse work. Those victims classified as high risk with DASH are referred to a MARAC: a group of professionals aiming to produce a set of responses that can help victims to cope with their situation and improve their safety. Our data will allow us to study whether these referrals reduce the probability of future victim harm. The official evaluation of the MARAC’s concluded that we do not know whether they are having a measurable impact. We will use a method called regression discontinuity design that is particularly well suited in situations in which you cannot do a classic experiment.
Juan Jose Medina Ariza (Principal Investigator, University of Manchester)
Caroline Miles (Co-Investigator, University of Manchester)
Gavin Brown (Co-Investigator, University of Manchester)
Keri Nixon (Co-Investigator, Victoria University of Wellington)
Northumbria Police led initiative (Six forces are involved with this initiative)
This is a two and half year project currently in its first year of funding.
The Whole Systems Approach has four key areas:
University of Leeds
Presentation: The Changing Cyberthreat Landscape and the Challenge of Policing Cybercrimes in the EU (CEPOL European Police Research & Science Conference 2015)
Contact: Professor David Wall
University of Leeds, funded by ESRC Future Research Leaders scheme
Crime is an extremely complex phenomenon which is driven by a wide range of environmental and human factors. Traditional techniques that use statistical methods to investigate crime have difficulties including the highly detailed, low-level factors which will determine whether or not a crime is likely to occur. These factors include the design of buildings, the structure of the road network and the behaviour of individual people going about their daily business (whether they are possible offenders, victims, or people who might prevent a crime).
This research uses agent-based modelling which is a type of computer simulation that simulates the behaviour of individuals (virtual people in this case). By incorporating detailed information about human behaviour into a simulation consisting of many “intelligent” agents it might be possible to better understand how people behave in the real world, which factors determine their movements, and where crimes are ultimately most likely to be committed.
Presentation: Agent-Based Modelling, Ambient Populations and Models of Burglar Behaviour
Contact: Dr Nick Malleson, Dr Andy Evans
For further information: www.nickmalleson.co.uk
The Knowledge Exchnage Strand is led by Durham University
0191 33 46833
0191 334 6832
The evaluation strand have embarked upon a multifaceted evaluation of the Catalyst Programme, drawing on realist evaluation and the theory of change model, to explore process and impact across the eight strands of work: but also addressing higher level organisational impacts (including those that were unintentional or unplanned) of this substantial programme of work.
The evaluation first round of interviews have now been completed and initial findings will be shared at the next SG meeting in April.
The strand will be hosting a half-day workshop on the methodological and conceptual opportunities and challenges presented by the ‘Evaluation of Research Co-Production and Impact’. Event page here.
Further cohort studies and interviews to be conducted over lifespan of project to inform interim and final evaluation.
Successful International conference held 12 – 14 October 2016 in Sheffield. The conference focused on the ways academics and the police do and can work together, drawing on real-world collaborations between academics and the police from different countries. Read about this event here.
International Report published by July 2018 – ongoing.
Dissemination of report post publication.
The Data Analytics Strand is led by the University of Leeds
Contact David Allen for Steering Group business
Contact Fiona McLaughlin for general enquiries
0113 343 1916
Contact Mohammed Almas for help and support using the Data Analytics Digital Service
Please direct any phone enquiries to Fiona McLaughlin
The Training and Learning Strand is led by Lancaster University
Lecturer Sociology and Quantitative Methods, Department of Sociology, Lancaster University.
SRA N8 PRP, Department of Sociology, Lancaster University.
Professor of Social Work, Department of Sociology, Lancaster University.
The Policing Innovation Forum Strand is led by the University of Manchester
Organisation/Institution: West Yorkshire for Innovation (WyFi), Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire
Position: Project Manager for Unity
Area(s) of Expertise: Community engagement, Leadership, Policing partnerships
With 14 years’ experience in West Yorkshire Police, including 10 years in the Criminal Justice Department as a Case Progression Officer developing complex fraud and serious violent crime cases, Leanne Vickers was appointed as the West Yorkshire for Innovation (WyFi) Project Manager for Unity during March 2016. Holding the ILEX qualification in Criminal Justice Administration and being PRINCE2 trained, Leanne joined WyFi, a unique police research and innovation team under the auspices of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire during 2012 where her CERTA training in funding for community groups, and extensive experience of advising voluntary groups on funding and measuring success and impact, led Leanne to coordinate large scale, multi-agency bid winning consortium proposals involving police and research partners.
Leanne Vickers is the Project Manager for Unity, a 3-year research and innovation project funded by the Horizon 2020 Secure Societies Programme of the European Commission. Commencing in May 2015, and being coordinated by West Yorkshire Police and the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, the Unity project has a strong consortium of European partners from across government, academic and private industry, including seven Law Enforcement Agency end-users.
The strategic vision of Unity is end-user focused, which aims to strengthen the connection between police and communities to maximise the safety and security of all citizens. The vision of Unity is being achieved through the delivery of three key strategic objectives;
On completion, Unity will deliver a flexible and scalable citizen-focused Community Policing model which strengthens the effective engagement and cooperation between police forces and the communities they serve – putting citizens and communities at the heart of Community Policing.
Live pilot demonstrations of technological tools in six EU member states have commenced, which shall serve to facilitate, strengthen and accelerate community and police communications. The developing tools being developed by Unity will be amplified and supported by the design and delivery of Community Policing training and awareness raising activities to police, citizens and community partners.
The Research Co-Production Strand is led by the University of Newcastle
0191 208 5637
The Public Engagement Strand is led by the University of Liverpool
0151 794 1177
The International Strand is led by the university of Sheffield
0114 222 6712
0114 222 6775
0114 222 6828
The Evaluation Strand is led by the University of York