New book showcases EMPAC’s police academic partnership

EMPAC has been chosen to be represented in a new book edited by Professors Steven Tong (Kingston University) and Denise Martin (Abertay University and Associate Director for the Scottish Institute for Policing Research – SIPR). The new 2023 book An Introduction to Police Research, published by  Routledge, features a chapter all about EMPAC, concerning its best practice in forging police academic partnerships. 

The importance of working together on priority industrial challenges using co-problematisation and co-production (rather than just being led by theoretical or random academic interests) also balances proactive exploratory research and moves beyond simply testing efficacy linked to historical criminal patterns. In other words, EMPAC is a police-academic collaboration (rather than the other way around) which unashamedly focuses first and foremost on improving the policing of tomorrow by driving applied, high impact research. That means, in practice, EMPAC proactively works with any researcher, anywhere, who can offer additionality, whilst always ensuring all the research it works with is grounded in an operational professional policing contextualisation.

EMPAC has now been emulated by an all Wales collaboration, (All-Wales Policing Academic Collaboration – AWPAC) and, supported by the Police Knowledge Fund in 2015, has been arguably the country’s most successful police academic collaboration, which is a tribute to the lineage of visionary leadership from ACC Phil Kay (Leicestershire Police), Peter Ward, Superintendent Dave Hill (Northamptonshire Police), PCC Hardyal Dhindsa (Derbyshire Constabulary) and DCCs Craig Naylor (Lincolnshire Police) and Paul Gibson.

The lessons learned from EMPAC’s experience offer a route map for future collaborations, to ensure policing priorities drive proactive enquiry, and findings are targeted towards real-world impact.

EMPAC is now hosted with the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) to offer specialist additional capability for proactive and strategic intelligence development, by working collaboratively with any academic researchers on priority policing challenges of today, with an aim to get tomorrow’s policing more upstream.



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