4 May 2021
Centre for Information Management to support the Future of Policing
The Centre for Information Management (CIM) at Loughborough University is working in partnership with The Police Foundation as they host a special seminar about policing innovation on the 19th of May 2021.
The Police Foundation, an independent UK think tank, has been leading a Strategic Review of Policing in England and Wales, in two phases, led by Sir Michael Barber. The first phase looked at the national safety and security challenges for the 21st Century. Phase two is exploring the legitimacy, organisation, resourcing and governance of policing over the next twenty years.
The seminar will help feed into Phase Two of the Strategic Review, looking at the future and how policing might get upstream in a more agile way within accelerating changes in society.
First Phase Findings
The Police Foundation identified that policing was in many ways ill-equipped to deal with the breadth and depth of complex tasks it is required to do. The Phase One review noted the dramatic changes in criminal patterns, but that the police had not changed in step. The examples are stark. There has been a decline in burglary (down by 74%) but a sharp increase in on-line sexual offences. Fraud is now more common that theft was. Missing people incidents are up by 46%. There is a national shortfall of 5000 detectives. That ever increasing volume of digital evidence can now be waiting up to 6 months to get examined.
In addition, Dr Sarah Charman and Dr Stephanie Bennett, of the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies at the University of Portsmouth have identified that voluntary resignations from policing has increased from 0.86% to 1.83% (Charman & Bennett, 2021). This rise starts to raise the notion of whether policing is increasingly not seen as a profession for life, and that resonates with various wellbeing reports about the increasing stresses of policework.
The next phase of the review which this seminar forms part of will examine policing capabilities.
Seminar on Policing the Future
The seminar will take evidence and insight in a number of key areas that are relevant for the future of policing from a range of contributors.
Professor Peter Kawalek, Head of the Centre for Information Management will discuss how data should be the servant, and not the master, of policing. In an age when policing seems often overwhelmed with volumes of data, the need to be smarter and use data as an advantage, rather than a burden to be coped with, is critical. Peter will talk about how data approaches in other industries across the world are planning for the future, so that policing can be amongst data leading organisations.
John Coxhead is Professor of Policing Innovation and Learning at Loughborough University and the founder of the national competition for Innovation in Policing. The core message here is about the need for an enabling organisational culture and mindset around innovation that allows ideas to flow through for policing to be agile amongst constant change and entrepreneurial criminality; to complement the focus on ‘what works’ with more thinking and research that explores ‘what if?’.
Dr Ian Stanier, Senior Lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University, will be leading discussion on how to develop the best policing intelligence. If intelligence is the lifeblood of policing then further advancement in this area can only benefit policing’s proactive capabilities.
Ruwan Uduwerage-Perera, Senior Lecturer at the University of East London, will address the need for authentic progressive reform of policing. Ruwan is a former national secretary of the Black Police Association who has also led on policing diversity strategies nationally and internationally. He is a visiting academic at Rashtriya Raksha University where he helps develop modern approaches to policing education.
Kelly Sundberg is Associate Professor of Criminology at Mount Royal University, Canada, and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Adelaide in Australia. Kelly is working with Dr Christina Witt who is a serving Calgary homicide detective on a new project in Canada, to establish a College of Policing; creating an ambitious blueprint for policing that redefines its future legitimacy and purpose. Kelly and Christina working together offers a strong contextual understanding of police organisational approaches to utilise the best ideas to inform what is a paradigm re-birth of Canadian policing.
Peter Kawalek is Professor of Information Management at Loughborough University and will discuss how data should be the servant, and not the master, of policing. In an age when policing seems often overwhelmed with volumes of data, the need to be smarter and use data as an advantage, rather than a burden to be coped with, is critical. Peter will talk about how data approaches in other industries across the world are planning for the future, so that policing can be amongst data leading organisations.
Terry O'Connell (Order of Australia) is a retired senior sergeant from Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia. He is widely acknowledged as the pioneer of the development of restorative justice practices in policing. As the former Director of Real Justice (Australia) Terry explains that RJ has become too more of a process, and that the authentic core of his craft revolves around explicit practice and relationships between people. At a time of much public angst and protest about policing Terry asserts it is as important now as ever to remember policing is about people.