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Building GIS research capacity in crime and policing research in Scotland Alistair Geddes & Donald Houston Geography, School of Social Sciences SIPR Research.

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Presentation on theme: "Building GIS research capacity in crime and policing research in Scotland Alistair Geddes & Donald Houston Geography, School of Social Sciences SIPR Research."— Presentation transcript:

1 Building GIS research capacity in crime and policing research in Scotland Alistair Geddes & Donald Houston Geography, School of Social Sciences SIPR Research Tools Seminar, 20 th May 2009

2 Why are we here (in this session)? Crime mapping is increasing well-established Broader expectations for changes in police performance analysis and management –Intelligence-led –Proactive – effective engagement with local organisations and communities –Appropriate local resource allocation Amidst other management and technology solutions, GIS offers a means of making sense of the police services arena of operations (Ashby et al., 2007)

3 Research with GIS Crime mapping / pattern analysis / hotspot detection: ongoing reqs for methodological development and coherence Beyond crime mapping – more strategic reqs –e.g. by leveraging geo-referenced databases not traditionally used in policing –geodemographic databases (socioeconomic + demographic data at postcode level). Understanding and implementing appropriate procedures for integrating, visualising and sharing geo- referenced data

4 Research on GIS Differing expectations / emphases / concerns among analysts / management / officers about the possibilities / limits of GIS. How are these managed? What resources and strategies are provided for training, confidence-building and empowering GIS analysts and managers? How effective are they? Ongoing req. for monitoring & analysis, and development of best practice case material

5 Research on GIS (continued) Qualifying GIS forms of analysis and output with other forms of knowledge on crime and policing: –e.g. reconciling differences between, and integrating, computer- mapped hotspots and officers own knowledge and perceptions of high/low crime areas –e.g. using hotspot maps to explore community / neighbourhood experiences or fears of crime

6 GIS research capacity in Scottish universities? Undergraduate & postgraduate GIS courses in all major universities Software, hardware, data resources Strong record of applied GIS research – examples: Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics data zones Social impacts in flood-affected neighbourhoods Ethnic / religious segregation in Scottish cities

7 But…challenges Who in the police holds responsibility / is able to get involved in such research? What are the incentives and rewards? Mechanisms for research partnerships are relatively rigid compared to university-external sector linkages.

8 Current police usage of GIS Who is currently using GIS? Who is planning to use GIS? Who would like to use GIS? Who is unsure about using GIS?

9 Opportunities to engage 1.Student projects: undergraduate and MSc level 2.Research studentships (PhD) 3.SIPR Practitioner Fellowships and Knowledge Transfer / Knowledge Exchange-type partnerships 4.Training offered on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses / consultancy basis

10 Undergraduate & MSc student projects Both levels requires completion of a independent dissertation study involving data collection / fieldwork over single summer vacation period Supervised by at least one member of university staff Encouraged and eager to use the dissertation as opportunity to gain research / work-related experience with external organisations Written up as approx 10,000 word research report Opportunities for both secondary and primary data analysis; quantitative and qualitative research Free!

11 PhD studentships 1.SIPR studentships – open call 2.Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Collaborative studentships –Annual calls for funding – November deadline –Support able students up to 4 years full-time (1+3) or 5 years part- time –ESRC pays maintenance grant and fees for student –Collaborative partner £3000 to the student and £3000 to the academic institution per annum Supervised by two members of university staff Written up as thesis and in research papers, including extensive state of the art literature reviews Opportunities to investigate organisational/management questions surrounding GIS implementation for crime and policing; to assess/develop GIS methodologies and approaches.

12 Knowledge Transfer / Knowledge Exchange SIPR Practitioner Fellowships Placement of a police practitioner in a university for 3-12 months Regular supervision with member of university staff Free! (fieldwork and travel costs funded by SIPR) Knowledge Transfer Partnerships KTP partnerships funded via DTI / Scottish Enterprise, administered locally Associate (a recent graduate) is appointed to work on a project 90% in partner organisation; 10% in university with supervisor Cost to partner organisation £16-20K per annum Exclude public sector organisations - so requires development via a commercial or voluntary sector associate

13 Training CPD (group-based); consultancy (individuals / smaller groups) Short (1 day) CPD courses at intro/intermediate/advanced levels on specific topics – e.g. data geo-referencing; ESDA tools (exploratory spatial data analysis); using geodemographic databases Based on existing teaching and web-based educational resources Opportunities to extend software-based skills acquisition to problem- oriented training focussed on real data sets Day rates vary depending on scale of training

14 Summary GIS research expertise in most Scottish universities SIPR provides policing angle Universities agenda for knowledge transfer and real world applications GIS has the potential to help facilitate the intelligence agenda in policing So…lets get together!

15 Dundee University contacts Dr Alistair Geddes –Tel Dr Donald Houston –Tel


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