Last week (1 March 2018), over 200 police and academics from across the UK met to present and discuss research which can improve policing. Sadly the second day of the conference had to be cancelled due to the snow, but the first day went extremely well.
The annual conference of the Society of Evidence Based Policing (SEBP) is held at the OU, and this year was hosted by the Centre for Policing Research and Learning. The Society is made up of police officers, police staff, and research professionals who aim to make evidence based research part of everyday policing in the UK.
The Chair of SEBP T/Assistant Chief Constable Alex Murray (West Midlands Police) welcomed delegates to the conference alongside the OU’s Vice-Chancellor, Peter Horrocks, and Chief Constable Francis Habgood (Thames Valley Police).
Ten academics affiliated to the OU Centre for Policing presented research findings which are both rigorous academically and impactful for policing on a wide range of topics from simulator training, through demand management to cybersecurity and public value. They are among a wide range of international speakers from the police and academia. They include presentations from:
- Dr Anne Adams, Director of Knowledge Exchange at the Centre for Policing, will show the value of simulations in improving child interviewing. She will describe how a trial on a sample of 116 new recruit police officers across three police forces, around child witness cases, identified a better understanding after simulation training than after standard face-to-face training.
- Dr Paul Walley, Director of Learning for the Centre for Policing will present with Anna Jennison-Phillips, formerly of Gloucestershire Constabulary, on demand management in policing. They will provide new research findings on how police can cope, categorise and respond to demand so that resources are targeted most effectively.
- Dr Gill Clough, Research Fellow at the Centre for Policing, will present on Evidence Cafes, an effective means of knowledge exchange. She will describe how the OU has run Evidence Cafes on a wide range of topics including ethical policing, digital forensics, leadership, and child interviewing.
- Professor Bashar Nuseibeh and team are presenting on Social-lift, which is a tool for disclosing selected parts of social media activities in a forensically sound way. It uses the notion of Verifiable Limited Disclosure (VLD) which enables witnesses, victims and suspects to give information from their social media accounts to an investigator while redacting irrelevant information to maintain their privacy. A practical trial with the police and public is underway.
Professor Jean Hartley, Academic Director of the OU’s Centre for Policing (and also presenting herself on research about analysing policing priorities) said: “The Centre is delighted to be hosting this major conference for the Society for Evidence-Based Policing. This brings together two organizations which are both committed to high quality academic and practitioner research in order to improve the evidence base of policing practice, so that the service to the public and to society is innovative and responsive.”