AN EVIDENCE BASED POLICING PROGRAMME
The Policing Futures Masterclass Series is a unique collaboration between the Universities’ Police Science Institute (UPSI) and South Wales Police (SWP), designed to provide the knowledge, skills and experience required to develop critical thinking and evidence-based practice among those considered future leaders within the force.
What it is
A cohort of 20 officers and staff, of all ranks and functions, are nominated and selected by SWP to take part in the programme. In the first sessions, delegates hear from internal SWP speakers on the challenges for policing in the next five years and the force’s strategic Policing 2020 vision.
This is supplemented by external speakers from industry, other public service organisations and the College of Policing regarding the management of change and research evidence-based interventions. Participants then self-align to a force strategic priority area of particular interest to them, before designing a small research project to answer a key question in relation to that priority area.
The groups embark upon their research with the objective of creating innovative solutions to problems, creating cost or time saving implications, improving processes or creating policy change.
"From inception, the aim of the programme has been to bring together academia and practitioners of policing to combine and share their knowledge to help address pressing issues facing policing in South Wales today, which may not only affect us, but can have a national context. Based around the three themes of People, Prevention and Partnership, this work will help to develop our response, so that we can tackle areas of crime more effectively, particularly around the key area of vulnerability."
Matt Jukes, Chief Constable, South Wales Police
How it works
Each project group is allocated an academic ‘Mentor’ from UPSI to advise on study design, methodology and analysis, together with a senior force ‘Shepherd’ to provide internal governance, operational input and aid the data access/generation process.
The groups conduct their research in their own time, meeting regularly over a nine-month period with both Mentor and Shepherd for input and guidance.
Every month the groups present their progress to their peers, a wider academic audience and chief officers, providing an opportunity for reflection and adaption of their research, to ensure it stays on track.
The series of masterclasses during the research period provides an opportunity for participants to hear more academic, internal and external speakers on topics related to research, policing and change management.
The 2017/18 programme research questions have addressed:
- the productiveness of neighbourhood policing teams
- preparing for an ageing workforce
- identifying vulnerability with partners
- using digital services to improve communication and assisting with crime prevention / reduction (with particular reference to the 10-24 age group)
- evaluating the effectiveness of police time spent with vulnerable persons and medical emergencies in hospitals.
This year’s programme will culminate in May, with the cohort of officers and staff formally presenting their findings to the SWP Chief Officer Group, together with a short, written report on their findings, interpretation of the evidence and recommendations in relation to the forces strategic direction. Participants also have the option to submit their work to the Chartered Management Institute for a formal external accreditation.
“Recent headlines in the media have clearly indicated how there are new challenges and demands for policing emerging. Set against this backdrop the research projects undertaken as part of this year’s Policing Futures programme are especially exciting because of how they directly respond to some of these contemporary high-profile issues.”
For more information please contact UPSI Research Fellow Trudy Lowe.