On 12-14 October, 78 people travelled to the University of Sheffield to see academics and practitioners from Australia, Canada, the United States, France, Belgium and the United Kingdom present on their experiences of research co-production in the policing sector. Each panel involved academics talking alongside police practitioners about specific research projects where they have worked closely together. Both reflected on key issues including the research process and its challenges, the outputs and outcomes of the research, and models of partnership relations and how well they work, as well as exploring any lessons that can be drawn from these experiences. In a climate where police organisations are looking for innovative ways to understand what works and why under the banner of evidence-based policing, and where universities are under increasing pressure to demonstrate the impact of their research on society, the event gave rise to many timely discussions. Participants have agreed in principle to turn their presentations into papers which will hopefully be published in due course.
On the first day, delegates saw James Whalen (Director of Public Safety at the University of Cincinnati and formerly Assistant Chief of the Cincinnati Police Department) and Maris Herold (University of Cincinnati Police Department) present on ‘Translating police research and reform into practice’; Nick Fyfe (University of Dundee)
present on ‘Learning, shaping, evaluating: working with the police on a journey of radical reform’; and finally Penny Dick (University of Sheffield) and Andy Fern (Greater Manchester Police) present on ‘Police partnership working: lessons from the Kirkholt pilot’.
On the second day delegates saw Stanny de Vlieger (Judicial Director of the Federal Police in the Province of Antwerp) and Marleen Easton (Ghent University) present on ‘Belgian reflections on the dialogue of the deaf’; Layla Skinns (University of Sheffield) and Alan Greene (formerly Superintendent and the Head of Police Custody for Greater Manchester Police) present on ‘When academia meets police custody: the practical and cultural aspects of police-academic partnerships’; Christian Mouhanna (Director of Cesdip, France) present on ‘Ethics in French police forces: research between professional interest and political pressure’; Adam White (University of Sheffield) and Imogen Hayat (Security Industry Authority) present on ‘Regulating private security: from tunnel vision to broad reflection’ (chair: Layla Skinns); James Sheptycki (York University, Canada) present ‘On, for and with “the police”; thinking about policing as a subject and object of interdisciplinary inquiry’; and finally Jenny Fleming (University of Southampton), Matthew Bacon (University of Sheffield) and Nick Fyfe (University of Dundee) discuss how to establish groupings ‘Behind the Scenes’.
On the third day, delegates saw Sarah Bennett (University of Queensland) and Insp Ian Thompson (Queensland Police) present on ‘Creating effective research partnerships, the Queensland experience’; Ben Bradford (University of Oxford) present on ‘Experiments in policing and the challenges of implementation’; and finally Adam Crawford (University of Leeds, N8 PRP Director) and Nicky Miller (College of Policing) discuss how to establish networks ‘Behind the Scenes’.