Mark Flint-Freel - Our experts - University of Derby

Mr Mark Flint-Freel MSc, Lecturer in Criminology & Police Cadet Programme

Mark joined the University of Derby in 2012 to run a new College of Policing course — the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing (CKP) — which he continues to develop and deliver, as part of the Masters Degree in Criminology.

He also runs police cadet courses for Nottinghamshire Constabulary and is the Derby-based project co-ordinator for the Royal Malaysia Police, with responsibilities for the verification and assessment of students. 

Mark’s transition from training special constables to lecturing on higher degree courses has gone very well and in 2015 Mark was the runner-up in the student-nominated category of Best Lecturer.

Professional background

Having worked in the police service for 30 years, Mark brings significant experience to his role as a lecturer. He has served as a:

  • frontline police officer
  • police trainer
  • close protection officer for the late Margaret Thatcher when she was prime minister
  • riot training instructor, and
  • home beat officer.

Whilst at Derbyshire Constabulary he progressed from patrol to community safety duties, becoming an architectural liaison officer and partnership manager on secondment to the High Peak Borough Council.

In 2009 Mark became responsible for the training and development of Derbyshire’s special constables — in response to the rising numbers of specials — with the objective of delivering a more effective service. During this time he also wrote and delivered specials’ management training courses at the College of Policing.

Advocate of evidence-based teaching

Looking back at his own training, Mark recognises that it was too narrow in scope. Now, as a teacher of policing skills he plays an important role in improving the quality of police training, which will lift the overall performance and effectiveness of policing in this country and abroad.

For Mark, the move to evidence-based policing, which moves away from teaching a set of standard operating procedures and draws on the growing body of research knowledge, will help officers take appropriate courses of action in response to any situation — rather than following a standard, one-size-fits-all approach. 

New initiatives

Under the leadership of Professor Kevin Bampton, the Institute actively encourages its staff to explore new ideas and to develop new opportunities. It was within this proactive environment that Mark was able to establish the residential Summer School for Nottinghamshire Constabulary, which was the first one in the country.

It is this environment of academic entrepreneurship that also enabled Mark to deliver a series of crime prevention seminars. Three all-day courses were delivered to Derbyshire Constabulary personnel, including police officers, PCSOs and civilian staff. Professor Ken Pease (a forensic psychologist and Visiting Professor at UCL, Chester, Loughborough and Manchester universities) provided input into the courses, which were well received by all delegates.

As a direct result of Ken’s involvement with the crime prevention seminars, he was invited to join the Institute, which for Mark is what underpins the Institute: it is focused on raising standards in policing by providing the best education that is delivered by the best lecturers, practitioners and partners.

Portrait of Criminology Lecturer Mr Mark Flint-Freel Mark’s transition from training special constables to lecturing on higher degree courses has gone very well and in 2015 Mark was the runner-up in the student-nominated category of Best Lecturer.