Professor Kevin Bampton LLB FRSA SFHEA, Director of the International Policing & Justice Institute
A lawyer by training, Kevin has been with the University of Derby since 1996, and is the Director of the International Policing and Justice Institute.
After studying for his law degree, Kevin joined the United Nations as a special constitutional legal adviser and then moved to the UK Foreign Office, where he worked in international development, with a focus on law, good government and development.
Policing and justice projects have been a significant aspect of his professional life and this interest has continued throughout his academic career.
The vision for the Institute
The inspiration for the development of the Institute was the realisation by Kevin and his colleagues that the University had a group of experienced people with both the professional skills and academic ambition to bring together policing theory and practice, and who could deliver international policing solutions that weren't currently being delivered.
Underpinning the Institute is the professionalisation of policing, which the UK Home Office has been committed to since 2011; this objective will encompass every aspect of policing in the UK and a growing number of forces overseas. The Institute brings together a wide range of highly qualified lecturers and practitioners, who draw on their own academic research and frontline policing experience.
The Institute is concerned with the practical aspects of what it means to maintain a secure, well-functioning and well-ordered society. It draws on disciplines that go beyond traditional policing, including computer sciences and data mining, forensics, business management, systems and leadership — a far broader scope than just law and criminology.
Strength of the Institute
For Kevin, the real strength of the Institute is that the majority of its partnerships and delivery partners will be external, including serving senior ranking officers from around the world. The Institute provides the free intellectual space, the investment and the focus to allow those working within the organisation to bring together and develop thought leadership in one place.
For lecturers and fellows, the Institute actively encourages academic entrepreneurship — exploring new ideas, testing new theories and publishing new research findings — which is possible because the Institute isn’t chasing grant funding and income streams to justify its existence.
The Institute also encourages its lecturers, the majority of whom already hold PhDs, to continue with their own studies and to maintain a flow of published research.
This unique position in the academic world allows lecturers and partners to develop new ideas across the policing and justice spectrum in response to the growing global demand for this knowledge. The Institute will also continue to welcome students from the UK and overseas, and will continue to expand its international operations.
The Institute is already becoming a crucible for gathering and sharing knowledge, for testing new theories and challenging the status quo; it is informing opportunities for support, development, education and training, for forces in this country and abroad — reinforcing the Institute’s long-term aim of professionalising the police.
The value of international collaboration
Kevin and his team recognise the importance of learning from foreign police forces. The traditional model was to export British policing practices and simply apply them overseas. The flaw in this approach was that it failed to recognise that every community is different; that political systems are different and even the criminal justice frameworks are different — rendering the one-size-fits-all-approach obsolete.
The Institute is moving away from the idea that the UK should try to impose its policing model on other countries, but rather that we should seek to understand what policing is doing around the world and to learn from overseas police forces.
The Institute will encourage and support a flow of knowledge to and from the UK, which will have implications for policing in the UK — essentially, the importing of policing practices.
By taking this approach, the Institute will build upon and expand the body of knowledge and understanding of what constitutes effective and professional policing, and by understanding, evaluating and comparing what other forces are doing, will further reinforce the position of the Institute as an international centre of policing and justice.
For Kevin, the Institute will add value across the broader dimensions of policing, given the increasingly global nature of crime. For example fraud, more and more, is perpetrated by criminals in other countries; and then there's people trafficking and the problems of modern slavery.
The International Policing and Justice Institute has the necessary foundations to become an international centre of policing excellence and its work will not only impact on how policing is delivered but it will undoubtedly help to formulate policy at the heart of the UK and overseas governments.