What is your role within the Institute?
I am Deputy Director of the Institute and Lead for UK Policing. As Deputy Director, I make sure I have an oversight of all the Institute’s business so I’m ready to step in when the Head of Institute is unavailable.
As the Lead for UK Policing, I drive forward the links between the Institute and UK police forces to establish the Institute as a leader in the field of policing research and education.
What is your professional background and experience?
I have worked within the criminal justice sector in various capacities for over 30 years. I started my working life as a City of London police officer. Since then I have continued to work very closely with the police in a number of other roles I have held:
- the youth court
- Nottingham’s Crime and Drug Partnership
- research, and
- as an independent member of Nottinghamshire Police Authority.
I currently sit on the Audit and Scrutiny Committee of Nottinghamshire's Police and Crime Commissioner.
My research interests include policing, drugs, young people, partnership working, and probation.
What have been your key successes or achievements in the field of policing?
I was instrumental in establishing an accredited police cadet training programme - a partnership between the University of Derby and Nottinghamshire Police.
Known as the Foundation in Policing, it’s a two-year programme enabling cadets to achieve a level 3 qualification and progress on to university degrees in subjects like criminology and policing. It is the only university accredited cadet scheme that I am aware of.
I also established the basis for a pre-qualification scheme at this University as well as my previous University. This will mean that aspiring police officers can gain required police competencies and experience as a special constable, at the same time as undertaking their undergraduate degree. This makes graduates more attractive to the police force and enables them to get their policing career underway quicker.
I am also delighted that we are partners in two research consortiums that were recently awarded funding from the Police Knowledge Fund to embed an evidence-led research culture in UK policing.
What do you think are the greatest challenges and opportunities facing policing today?
There are a number of challenges. We still see issues around accountability and I am not convinced that the police and crime commissioners that were introduced in 2012 are the answer.
I think that the recent cuts in policing have, and continue to make, an impact, and I think that the police are really stretched at the moment. The amalgamation of forces in Scotland may provide a model for regionalisation of English and Welsh forces and over the next decade I think that the policing map will significantly change.
I also think that we still have issues around the policing of a diverse society and there remains a crisis in confidence within certain communities. Overall, the many attempts to make the police service representative of the population it serves, have failed.
In terms of opportunities, I think that there are still a number of partnership opportunities that the police can explore around new ways of working and, as a researcher, I find the emphasis on evidence-based policing refreshing.
How do you think the Institute and its partners can benefit from working together?
I look forward to working with partners on research projects, as well as on education and training, so we can establish real best practice and become a centre for excellence. By working with forces from across a number of countries, we can ensure this best practice is international and therefore more valuable to all parties.