Angie Neville

What is your role within the Institute?

I’m a Lecturer in Criminal Investigations and Policing. I teach on the MSc Criminal Investigation, so many of my students are police officers from the United Arab Emirates. I also teach on our new undergraduate policing degree.

What is your professional background and experience?

I’m a former senior police trainer and criminal investigator. I was with Derbyshire Police for 20 years – firstly as a police officer, then as a detective, then finally as a trainer of police officers (I was the Lead Trainer for the Initial Detective Training Programme.) I decided to go into lecturing in 2009 and started working at the University of Derby.

Having been a police officer, I know there’s often a gap between academia and on-the-ground policing. However, there is plenty of research out there that can help police officers with their day-to-day jobs, so I hope that lecturers like me can be the bridge between these two worlds. Research is crucial because it explains why you should follow a particular model or not.

Since working in academia, I’ve had the time to step back and see the gaps in my knowledge and then read others’ research or undertake my own research in order to fill these gaps. This has been truly fascinating.

As a detective, I dealt with serious sexual offences, particularly rape, and so my research has focused on this area. For my Masters in Criminal Investigation I researched why sexual offences are so difficult to successfully prosecute, and for my PhD, which I’ve just begun, I will be exploring the use of restorative justice for domestic abuse crimes.

What do you think are the greatest challenges and opportunities facing policing and justice today?

My experience is largely with the UK police force but most of their biggest challenges are international ones:

The Police constantly have to update their skillset to be able to effectively deal with new crimes.

What was it like to win the University's Lecturer of the Year award 2015?

It was a very proud moment; I was truly honoured. The students who voted for me said it was because I was passionate about my subject and because I taught in a lively and interactive way. I use group work, role-play scenarios, guest speakers and trips – for example to custody suites – to bring to life the subject. We have a look at what academia says and then explore what it means in practice.

This approach is actually something that has stayed with me from my time in the police force; as police trainers we were taught to take a student-centred learning approach. I follow the same model here at the University and it seems to be working!