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Presentation on theme: "DEVELOPING AN EVIDENCE-BASE FOR LOCAL POLICING IN SCOTLAND Dr Elizabeth Aston, Edinburgh Napier University"— Presentation transcript:

1 DEVELOPING AN EVIDENCE-BASE FOR LOCAL POLICING IN SCOTLAND Dr Elizabeth Aston, Edinburgh Napier University, Twitter: @AstonLiz Professor Kenneth Scott, Centre for Criminal Justice and Police Studies, UWS

2 Scottish Local Policing Evidence Database (SLoPED) PRINCIPLESPRINCIPLES (A3) Conceptual Partnership Working (B3) Non-experimental Partnership Working (C3) Experimental Partnership Working (A2) Conceptual Crime Reduction (B2) Non-experimental Crime Reduction (C2) Experimental Crime Reduction (A1) Conceptual Community Engagement (B1) Non-experimental Community Engagement (C1) Experimental Community Engagement M E T H O D O L O G Y

3 B3 – Non-experimental, Community Engagement Police community commitment/engagement has the biggest unique association with overall confidence (Stanko and Bradford,2009) Rural policing has a fundamentally different nature to urban policing, requiring active community engagement to be effective (Fenwick et al., 2011) The community requires a forum to voice concerns and hear how issues are being dealt with (Frondigoun et al., 2008) The centrality of statistical regimes can encourage Safer Neighbourhood Teams to focus tasking towards crime-orientated tasks, rather than knowledge brokering and relationship-building, which officers and partners value as core CP tasks (Harkin, 2011) It is important to be clear which officers have responsibility for community engagement roles. Having contact with a named local officer is of utmost importance to community council representatives (Aston and Scott, 2014) Officers identify positive outcomes (improved opportunities for community intelligence gathering, reduced calls for assistance and decreased levels of crime and disorder) from Community Engagement Model (Hunter and Fyfe, 2012)

4 Non-experimental, Community Engagement example: Harkin (2011) CONTEXT: A small scoping study which documented and assessed the initial trial of the Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNT) model in the south and east Command Area of Lothian and Borders A Division. MAIN FINDINGS Managerial statistical regimes encourage the narrowing of SNT tasking towards crime-orientated tasks and leave alternative tasks such as knowledge brokering and relationship-building as of secondary importance to Community Policing, even though officers and partners perceive these to be core. Consistency of practice could be enhanced if there was greater definition of the core principles and tasks of CP rather than leaving it to officers’ experience and intuition. Future CP training should consider the potential value of peer learning in this context. SOURCE: Harkin, D. (2011) Exploring the Relationship Between Performance Management and Community Policing. SIPR Research Summary 9.

5 A3 – Conceptual, Partnership Working Problem-solving often requires the police to work in partnership with local people and other organisations to put in place sustainable solutions (Bullock, Erol and Tilley, 2006). Chicago-style strategies require that the police begin to see themselves as one node in a wider network of public sector problem solvers’ (Mackenzie and Henry, 2009) The role of the Police Early Intervention officer can play a part in identifying young people at risk (Smith, 2010) Case for developing Protester Liaison Teams for public order policing (Menzies, 2012) Examples of partnership working in municipal policing from around the EU (Donnelly, 2012) Typology of fire-related ASB to assist better working between police and fire services (Matheson et al., 2012)

6 Conceptual, Partnership Working example: Menzies (2012) CONTEXT: A practitioner study of the evolution of modern academic research on crowd dynamics and the modern policing principles that derive from these. MAIN FINDINGS: Deployment of Protester Liaison Teams (PLTs) in the UK remains rare, disjointed and largely unreported between police forces. PLTs better positioned than any other resources to understand what is actually happening and to provide real time dynamic risk assessments to public order commanders. The role of trained PLTs requires to be tested in operational environments and the results applied to the development of public order policing principles. SOURCE: Menzies, C. (2012) Police Liaison with Protest Groups. SIPR Practitioner Fellowship Report (

7 Developing SLoPED into Safer Communities Evidence Matrix Scotland? SCEMS Reactive Proactive SAFERCOMMUNITIESSAFERCOMMUNITIES Partnership Working C Crime Reduction E Community Engagement Q CASUALTY REDUCTION REDUCING REOFFENDING?


9 Purpose Repository for research information Facilitate knowledge exchange Promote innovation in local practice What /how? Include local (Scottish) grey/unpublished literature on topic plus UK and international research from peer-reviewed publications Include conceptual and qualitative studies rather than just experiments/ RCTs Focus beyond crime reduction to principles of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act and Building Safer Communities Programme Focus on key messages –e.g. what activity helps to achieve certain desired outcomes

10 Who could it be for? Police practitioners: officers and managers Partner organisations, Safer Communities partners Local government National Government Scottish Police Authority, HMICS Next steps: Consultation with key partners: user requirements? Larger funding bid to enable research assistance and technological development?

11 Challenges Is it relevant? problem should be identified by users (Ward, House and Hamer, 2009) Would it become too big, unwieldy /unfocused? Requires regular updating and maintenance Barriers to successful knowledge exchange? –e.g. personnel change, changing priorities?

12 Conclusions Knowledge and power Storing up knowledge confers power Loss of knowledge (re-inventing the wheel) Facilitate shared organisational knowledge? The Reflective Practitioner (Schon, 1991) -professional practice & reflective organisations? Facilitate joint working towards shared goals? Facilitate knowledge exchange? Research impact? Questions and feedback welcome: Dr Liz Aston Twitter:

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