Questions and more questions!

Much research starts with a question. But getting to the right question can be one of the many challenges of good research. We all know despite having more data readily available at our finger tips than ever before in human history the old maxim you get the answers you deserve, based on your question, has never been more true. It’s not the lack of data out there that is the real challenge (many folk say they’re just swamped in it), it’s in the making sense of it! 

Getting research of the future to help tackle some of policing’s greatest challenges is an opportunity we don’t want to miss out on. So, EMPAC is focusing on two strategic policing themes – Serious Organised Crime (SOC) and Force Management Statements (FMS) Understanding Demand – where setting the questions is getting our attention.

You can access here two posters that we are encouraging colleagues to display in police buildings and university buildings – with a view to focussing minds on asking the right question(s) but also how we might go about answering these. Feel free to print these off and share.  It might be that there are researchers out there in the planning stages of their calendar looking for juicy topics to try and tackle – in which case it would be great if we could encourage them to start right here. 

Serious Organised Crime

FMS: Understanding Demand (incorporating partnerships and prevention)

Whilst there is a focus on SOC and FMS here we’d encourage everyone out there on any policing related topic to consider creating similar question sets to help inform our future research. If you do create your own questions set then please send them to us at EMPAC and we will publish them for everyone to work on together. 

As a little additional, complementary aside, we’d like to share a stimulating TEDx Mile High* talk from  Denver, Colorado, by Mike Vaughan, on Youtube all about the importance of why we should ask better questions. This fascinating clip delves into the growing paradox of the difficulties emerging because of access to more and more data. The point is about the growing difficulty in our capacity to make decisions in an increasingly complex world. This is not presented in a formal academic question writing lecture context, but more in a conversational format encouraging everyone to think about this. It’s about folk needing to think collaboratively and the importance of good questions in bringing diverse thinking together to work towards a common goal. This involves asking, listening and suspending judgement to be able to really hear. As ancient Greek philosophy of ethos, pathos and logos advocated: seek first to understand. Happy viewing!






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