European Journal of Policing Studies

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Issue 3, 2018 Expand all abstracts

Aims and Scope

Authors Antoinette Verhage, Lieselot Bisschop, Wim Hardyns e.a.

Antoinette Verhage

Lieselot Bisschop

Wim Hardyns

Dominique Boels


Authors Matthew Bacon, Joanna Shapland and Layla Skinns
Author's information

Matthew Bacon
Matthew Bacon is a Lecturer in Criminology, School of Law, University of Sheffield. His main research interests are drug law enforcement, criminal investigation and police culture. He is currently working on a BA/Leverhulme-funded study of challenges, innovation and reform in the policing of drugs (corresp: m.bacon@sheffield.ac.uk).

Joanna Shapland
Joanna Shapland is the Edward Bramley Professor of Criminal Justice and Director of the Centre for Criminological Research at the University of Sheffield, UK. Her research interests span victimology, restorative justice, policing and desistance. She has just finished a grant from the Police Knowledge Fund on restorative justice and policing, for which she was PI.

Layla Skinns
Layla Skinns is a Reader in Criminology, School of Law, University of Sheffield. She previously worked at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge where she also completed her MPhil and PhD. Her main research interests are police authority, discretion and governance in police custody. She is currently the PI on an ESRC-funded study of ‘good’ police custody.

What is police research good for? – Reflections on moral economy and police research

Keywords evidence-based policing, police métier, gun-crime, police crackdowns, pistolization
Authors James Sheptycki
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper presents a ‘third order reflection’ on the practices and limitations of police research in a case study of the moral economy of a police gun-crime panic. It approaches the questions ‘what is police research good for?’ and ‘what matters in policing?’ through a critique of police-oriented, evidence-based police (EBP) research. The paper suggests that partnerships between police and academics are structured by performance metrics and the rhetoric of New Public Management. Both academics and police are enveloped in the ‘politics of numbers’ and thereby struggle to overcome a narrow outlook. Ironically, evidence-based policing research produces evidence of a different kind, having to do with police practices that reveal the assumptive world of the police métier and thereby help to generate the foundations of third order reflection and critique. Describing a gun-crime panic in a specific time and place, and relating it to the broader moral economy of policing governance of which it is a part, is a practical demonstration of how to take EBP police research far beyond its limitations to the more fertile grounds of third order reflection.

James Sheptycki
McLaughlin College, York University, Toronto CANADA (corresp: jshep@yorku.ca).

Belgian reflections on the dialogue of the deaf

Keywords Dialogue of the deaf, partnerships, boundary spanners, pracademics, insider-outsider perspectives
Authors Marleen Easton and Stanny De Vlieger
AbstractAuthor's information

    The relationship between police practitioners and researchers has been described as a ‘dialogue of the deaf’ (MacDonald in Bradley, 2005), a ‘dialogue of the listening’ (Johnston & Shearing, 2009) or a ‘dialogue of the hard-of-hearing’ (Bronitt, 2013). Relying on their experiences into research on, for, by and with the police in the last decade, Easton & De Vlieger recount their Belgian reflections on these dialogues. Their experiences in the research related to these partnerships are described and the key barriers and essential enablers for nurturing these partnerships discussed.

Marleen Easton
Marleen Easton is a sociologist and professor in the department of Public Governance, Management and Finance at the Faculty of Economics & Business Administration at Ghent University. Since 2007 she is director of the research group ‘Governing & Policing Security’ where she has built up her experience in supervising more than 30 research projects. Every study has been valorized in a conference/seminar in cooperation with policing practitioners. Her active participation in the Flemish Centre for Policing & Security since 2001 plays a crucial role in building up this nexus. In 2014 she took up the presidency of the Innovation Center for Security to pursue a nexus in the field of innovation, technology and security (corresp: marleen.easton@ugent.be).

Stanny De Vlieger
Stanny De Vlieger holds a master in criminology and business administration. He is Chief Commissioner (judicial director) of the Federal Police in the Province of Antwerp and has over 25 years of experience working in criminal intelligence. He is participating in and advising some (inter) national research projects on the management of capacity, transnational private security networks in ports and enhancing criminal intelligence analysis through technology (VALCRI). Furthermore he took up the role of expert in projects, funded by the EU, aiming to reorganize (security) administrations in Tunisia, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since 2008 he is an active member of the Flemish Centre for Policing & Security where he is committed to enhance the policing-science nexus.

Different ways of acting and different ways of knowing? The cultures of policeacademic partnerships in a multi-site and multi-force study

Keywords police-academic partnerships, culture, police-citizen relations
Authors Alan Greene and Layla Skinns
AbstractAuthor's information

    The purpose of this paper is to add to the growing body of literature on police-academic partnerships, which has emerged over the last thirty years. Using a multi-force and multi-site study of ‘good’ police custody practices, as a case study, we examine the cultures of police-academic partnerships through the concepts of “ways of acting” and “ways of knowing” (Canter, 2004). In terms of ways of acting, we examine differences that arose whilst forming police-academic relationships and accessing multiple forces and custody facilities. In terms of ways of knowing, we examine differences in academic and police theorization about police-citizen relationships. It is argued that different ways of acting – rooted in the cultural, but also organisational and structural contexts of policing and academia – created challenges for the research and for police-academic relationships. By contrast, different ways of knowing contributed to helpful synergies between the two authors, helping the police author to see his work anew and aiding the academic author with the theorization process. One of the key lessons from this case study is that theory development should be seen as foundational to, and as strengthening of, police-academic partnerships.

Alan Greene
Alan Greene retired from the police in 2015. He was previously a Superintendent in GMP holding a variety of posts in uniform services. Whilst at GMP he was also head of Custody for three years (2011-14) and worked for Assistant Chief Constable Dawn Copley when she held the national custody portfolio. He was also Chair of the Police Superintendents’ Association in GMP.

Layla Skinns
Layla Skinns is a Reader in Criminology, School of Law, University of Sheffield. She previously worked at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge where she also completed her MPhil and PhD. Her main research interests are police authority, discretion and governance in police custody. She is currently the PI on an ESRC-funded study of ‘good’ police custody (corresp: L.Skinns@sheffield.ac.uk).

Police partnership working: Lessons from a co-located group pilot

Keywords Police partnership working, interactional accomplishment, authority work, authorization
Authors Penny Dick
AbstractAuthor's information

    Recent literature on police partnership working has challenged the orthodoxy established during the 1980s and 1990s that this is an unpopular area of police activity. Instead, recent research suggests that partnership working can reinforce and enhance the policing value of pragmatism (O’Neill and McCarthy, 2014), due to its focused and bottom-up approach to problem solving. Using a casestudy approach to investigate a co-located partnership group tasked with reducing demands for policing services, I explore the precise nature of the processes that enable these apparently effective elements of partnership working to emerge. I suggest a core role for “authority work” defined as the process through which particular interpretations of people, events and outcomes are warranted and rendered legitimate. I use the insights generated from the analysis to reflect on why partnership working may sometimes succeed in both producing successful multi-agency collaboration and what such success might mean for those individuals that are the targets of partnership interventions.

Penny Dick
Penny Dick (BA, MSc, PhD, C.Psychol.) is Professor of Organizational Psychology in the Institute of Work Psychology at Sheffield University Management School. Her research interests include identity, resistance and power and how these are implicated in the reproduction of social inequalities in work organizations (corresp.: p.dick@sheffield.ac.uk).

From ‘what works?’ to ‘who am I?’: Existential research in the extended policing family

Keywords Academic-Practitioner Collaboration, Organizational Identity, Private Security, Regulation, Security Industry Authority
Authors Adam White and Imogen Hayat
AbstractAuthor's information

    Police forces are long established organizations shot through with tradition and confident of their underlying organizational identity. This means that when police practitioners collaborate with academics, they tend to be more concerned with pragmatic questions of ‘what works?’ than they are with existential questions of ‘who am I?’. However, on the fringes of the ‘extended policing family’, where organizational identities are far more fluid, a different picture emerges. These less established organizations are often equally interested in both types of question. This presents an opportunity for academics and practitioners to work together on deeper questions regarding the constitution of the policing landscape. Through the lens of Hatch and Schultz’s (2002) model of organizational identity dynamics, this article profiles one such example which revolves around a research collaboration between the Security Industry Authority – the public body tasked with regulating the UK private security industry – and the University of Sheffield.

Adam White
Adam White is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Sheffield. His research focuses on three interconnected themes: (i) the rise of the private security and private military industries in the postwar era; (ii) corresponding issues of governance, regulation and legitimacy in the contemporary security sector; and (iii) the changing nature of state-market relations (corresp: adam. white@sheffield.ac.uk).

Imogen Hayat
Imogen Hayat joined the SIA in 2007 and has worked across the organization as Development Manager, Insight Manager, Head of Private Office, Stakeholder & Media Relations Manager and (her current role) Project Support Manager. Prior to this, she worked at COI as a Strategic Analyst and at CAFCASS as a Corporate Strategist. She holds a Masters degree in Geography from Leeds University.

Crafting legitimate policeresearch partnerships through procedural justice

Keywords Evidence-Based Policing, Partnerships, Legitimacy, Procedural justice
Authors Sarah Bennett, Peter Martin and Ian Thompson
AbstractAuthor's information

    The push for police to do more with less resources requires police practices to be effective, efficient and evidence-based. There exists an imperative to use and produce the best research evidence available to solve policing problems, however there often exists impediments to effectively work with police on policing. This article explores ideas and key ingredients for facilitating productive partnerships between academic and police organisations. The Queensland Police Service (QPS) has crafted a productive framework for co-producing research with Queensland universities. Using the QPS as a case study, we unravel events and ingredients leading to the growth of evidence-based research consumption and production. Our article provides background on a landmark trial – the Queensland Community Engagement Trial (QCET) and extends that procedural justice was not only the key theoretical foundation for the trial but also the catalyst and facilitator for effective co-production of research and evidence-based practice.

Sarah Bennett
Dr Sarah Bennett is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Queensland. Research interests include evidence-based policing, procedural justice and legitimacy and pathways to preventing offending and victimisation. Sarah is a Fellow of the Academy of Experimental Criminology and invests in rigorous research projects and partnerships which directly inform policy and practice (corresp: sarah.bennett@uq.edu.au).

Peter Martin
Deputy Commissioner Peter Martin has served with the QPS for over 36 years. His PhD studied policing of licensed premises to build an evidence base relating to alcohol use abuse and harm reduction. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland. He is the founding chair of the Australia and New Zealand Society of Evidence Based Policing and in 2010, Deputy Commissioner Martin was inducted into the Evidence Based Policing Hall of Fame.

Ian Thompson
Inspector Ian Thompson is the Manager of Constable Services at the Queensland Police Service (QPS) Academy. Ian has a passion for improving police recruit skills with a focus on communication and procedural justice. He completed his Master of Studies in applied criminology and police management at the University of Cambridge. Ian received the Australian Police Medal in 2014.

Experiments in policing: The challenge of context

Keywords Experimental methods, implementing research, trust, organizational justice
Authors Ben Bradford, Chris Giacomantonio and Sarah MacQueen
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper considers the effect of organizational context, alongside wider political factors, on the ability of police/academic partnerships to ‘deliver’ experimental studies in policing. Comparing and contrasting across two recent studies, the Making and Breaking Barriers research project on mounted police, and the Scottish Community Engagement Trial (ScotCET), the paper draws on the experience of the authors and their police partners in designing, implementing and interpreting the research, with a particular focus on relational factors and how these shaped the research process. The mechanics of designing and delivering a policing experiment cannot work without attending to the nature of police/researcher partnership, the challenges posed by police cultures and other organizational factors, and the environment within which the study is occurring. There is a strong need for academic/police partnerships to consider experimental research projects within their wider social, economic and political contexts.

Ben Bradford
Ben Bradford is Professor of Global City Policing at the University College London Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science. His research interests include: procedural justice theory; broader questions of public trust, legitimacy, cooperation and compliance; stop and search and the effect of police activity on individuals and communities; and organizational justice within police organizations (corresp: ben.bradford@crim.ox.ac.uk).

Chris Giacomantonio
Chris Giacomantonio is the Research Coordinator for the Halifax Regional Police in Halifax, Canada and the Atlantic Regional Coordinator for the Canadian Society of Evidence Based Policing. The research described in this paper was conducted while Chris was an analyst at RAND. The opinions expressed in this paper do not necessarily reflect the position of RAND Europe or the Halifax Regional Police.

Sarah MacQueen
Sarah MacQueen is a Research Fellow with the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, based at the University of Edinburgh Law School. Her research focuses on broad policing issues, most recently exploring the effects of contact on public trust, confidence and police legitimacy; and on experiences of and police responses to domestic abuse.

Police reform, research and the uses of ‘expert knowledge’

Keywords Police Reform, Research, Evaluation, Knowledge
Authors Nicholas R. Fyfe and Neil Richardson
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper examines the interplay between research and police reform. Focussing on the creation of Scotland’s national police force in 2013 it examines the role of research as ‘expert knowledge’ in the political and policy debate leading up to the reform and the on-going evaluation of the impacts and implications of the new police force. The paper also situates the relationship between research and reform in the context of the role played by the Scottish Institute for Policing Research, a strategic collaboration between Scotland’s universities, Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority. The analysis is informed at a conceptual level by the work of Boswell and her consideration of the different ways in which bureaucratic organisations make use of expert knowledge. This focuses attention on both instrumental uses (ensuring decisions are based on sound reasoning and empirical understanding) and symbolic uses where knowledge plays a role in enhancing legitimacy or helping substantiate policy preferences in areas of political contestation. These different uses of expert knowledge have important implications for thinking about the role of police-academic partnerships.

Nicholas R. Fyfe
Nicholas Fyfe is Director of the Scottish Institute for Policing Research and Professor in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Dundee (corresp: n.r.fyfe@dundee.ac.uk).

Neil Richardson
Neil Richardson was formerly a Deputy Chief Constable in Police Scotland and is now Chief Executive of Turning Point Scotland.