EMPAC’s first Research Cafe, at Leicestershire Police HQ, stimulated a lot of new connections and showed it really is good to talk. And some coffee and cake helps too! Thanks are due to the organising of Chief Inspector Dan Pedley and Graham Pickering in helping bring people together. 

The event was kindly hosted by Leicestershire Police and was supported by the College of Policing National Police Library and the What Works Centre. A number of Universities were represented from within and beyond the East Midlands region, allowing police professionals to speak directly to academics about potential new research ideas.

There was a diverse turn out, from the Chief Constable and Police and Crime Commissioner through to new recruits just weeks into training. There were active debate about the new form of graduate police education, stimulated by a recent blog, https://empac.org.uk/educating-bobby/ and discussion about the recently released new book on evidence based policing: Critical Reflections on Evidence-Based Policing, edited by Simon Holdaway, Nigel Fielding and Karen Bullock, being promoted by the National Police library.

Past Police Professional articles were available for visitors to catch up on the wealth of research that has been taking place across the region, including the evidence base on crime prevention, the role of Independent  Advisory Groups, and the benefits of restorative justice.

The University of Leicester were able to update on their progress on knife crime and leadership research. Nottingham Trent University were able to discuss some of their latest work on understanding PTSD in policing to support wellbeing. Loughborough University were able to discuss early plans to enhance progressive policing and innovation. De Montfort University were able to show how they were delivering their new policing degree. Sheffield Hallam University were able to discuss their developments around ethical situational decision making in policing.

People Zones was a popular topic too – an initiative driven by Willy Bach, Police and Crime Commissioner,  and being evaluated by Professor Darren Smith of Loughborough University. You can find out more about this impressive approach to place-based crime reduction first hand at a Nottingham Trent University hosted event on 28th February:- https://empac.org.uk/getting-ahead-of-fms-demand-working-together-on-best-evidence-and-innovation/.

If you can, get along to the next research cafe for a cuppa and a chat!

EMPAC has been driving innovation in policing research and innovation for some time: in many ways punching well above our weight. Take a look here at one of our events about innovation, held at Derbyshire Constabulary’s HQ in Ripley, which brought together representatives from all our region’s forces and a number of academic researchers, alongside the Home Office, Ministry of Defence, Toyota, and even Klime-Ezee, a ladder manufacturing company! https://empac.org.uk/empac-publishes-new-report-on-innovation-in-policing/

EMPAC seeks to make the East Midlands region the most progressive and innovative policing region in the country and to really push forward, working with our national media partner, Police Professional, and the College of Policing, we’ve been the driver behind a new competition in policing innovation. The purpose is to accelerate innovation and enterprise, to support the delivery of the national 2025 Policing Vision and the future beyond.

The College of Policing national innovation lead, Rob Flanagan, will be amongst the judges, which in July 2021 will select one overall winner and two runners up based on the following criteria:-

1. How relevant is the innovation research / idea to UK policing? (25 marks)

2. What potential benefits does the research / idea offer to improving UK policing? (25 marks)

3. How feasible would the innovation be to realise any potential benefits? (25 marks)

4. How well has the applicant articulated the idea / research? (25 marks)

Submissions are open now and we are encouraging everyone out there to have a go at helping find ways of delivering the 2025 Policing Vision. You can read the Vision here: – https://www.npcc.police.uk/documents/Policing%20Vision.pdf.

Ideas from all backgrounds and disciplines are invited – the important thing is whether the ideas could be applied within, and help improve, policing. For example, Universities are encouraged to promote this new opportunity widely to all their students (across all disciplines) and review their ‘top 3’  ideas for potential innovation policing application. To encourage a wide and flexible approach, submissions may for example, may come from an idea within assessed work or a standalone submission such as a presentation or report. Universities and Forces are invited to collate ideas at their local level, and identify those which they believe have the strongest innovation application potential for policing, considered against the judging criteria. Otherwise, individuals too many submit their own ideas direct.

Applications are open from September 2020, and any student work (from any discipline) commenced or completed in 2020 or 2021 is eligible.

A panel appointed by Police Professional will judge the top 3 overall entries at a national level in July 2021. The winner will receive a year’s free subscription to Police Professional and the two runners up will receive a certificate of achievement, and be featured at a national level in future editions of Police Professional. Although not currently possible because of COVID-19 restrictions, it is anticipated an awards ceremony invite will be offered to winners to attend Loughborough University in the future.

To flexibly encourage ideas in their widest remit, there is no prescribed submission format but all entries should make explicit their potential contribution to policing innovation, (3 minute style presentations or posters are a popular format) and should be sent via relevant University leads where possible by email to innovation@policeprofessional.com.

Submissions will be accepted for the 2020-21 competition from 1st September 2020 until 5pm, Friday 2nd July 2021. Winners will be notified by email and announced in Police Professional. No feedback will be offered to other applicants, and the judges’ joint decision will be final. Winners will be invited to join the judging panel for the subsequent year.


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