University of Northampton at forefront of policing research in the East Midlands

Date 8.03.2016

The University of Northampton’s Institute for Public Safety, Crime and Justice (IPSCJ) last week launched the East Midlands Police Academic Collaboration (EMPAC) at an event that took place at the NSPCC National Training Centre in Leicester.

In August 2015, EMPAC was awarded £862,620 from the College of Policing, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the Home Office Police Knowledge Fund, to develop policing related funding.  EMPAC is a collaboration of seven universities, five police forces and five Police and Crime Commissioners, looking at how academics and the police can work more closely to shape the future of policing.

EMPAC will implement a regional programme of policing-related research and strengthen relationships across universities and police forces in the East Midlands. The funding has been received to improve understanding of crime and policing issues, develop new ways of policing and innovatively translate research findings into practice.

The launch event, held on Friday 4th March, was attended by academics representing universities and police professionals from all of the forces across the East Midlands and speakers included Assistant Chief Constable Phil Kay from Leicestershire Police, Professor Simon Denny from the University of Northampton, Rachel Tuffin from the College of Policing and Superintendent Dave Hill, from Northamptonshire Police who also is the EMPAC Programme Director.

Superintendent Dave Hill, EMPAC Programme Director explained: “The EMPAC collaboration will drive forward policing research and knowledge exchange across the region. Each of the organisations involved brings valuable expertise that will lead to improvements in policing practice. We are looking forward to continued work with other universities and forces in the region.

“Getting police forces, commissioners, and academics to sit around a table and agree to the aims and objectives is no mean feat, so this collaboration is really significant milestone in driving a culture of ‘evidence-based policing’.”

EMPAC consists of five research networks, each looking at a particular topic within policing, including local and community policing; serious organised crime; organisational transformation; victims, witnesses and public protection; and operational policing. EMPAC will work closely with existing regional policing organisations and the Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR).

In Northamptonshire, the IPSCJ’s Director, Laura Knight, is the academic network lead for the Organisational Transformation Network and will work closely with the policing lead, Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Swann of Northamptonshire Police. The first two projects to be undertaken by this network will be an evaluation of the implementation of a coaching culture within the police and an activity analysis of special constables across the East Midlands.

Main picture: The College of Policing’s Rachel Tuffin.

Pictured below: Superintendent Dave Hill, Professor Simon Denny and ACC Phil Kay.