Universities and police to work together in new research partnership

A regional partnership to explore how academic research can help inform police practice and policies has been launched at Loughborough University today (Tuesday 3 June).

The East Midlands Policing Consortium aims to strengthen links between police forces and academic institutions in the East Midlands, and to ensure research carried out across the region meets the needs of the police.

Today’s first meeting was an opportunity for more than 80 academics and police officials to discuss police priorities and the role the region’s researchers can play.

Attendees were from the seven current partner universities and organisations including Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Northants and Lincolnshire police forces, as well as mediation services, the Police Crime Commissioners Offices and regional crime and drugs partnerships.

Loughborough University’s Dr Karen Lumsden, who organised the event, said:  

“Police forces are under increasing pressure to target their efforts more effectively, but they need the evidence to do this which is where universities come in.

“Academic research has a huge role to play so it’s important for us to work more closely with regional police forces to make sure our research reflects their needs.

“As well as enabling us to build links with the police, this consortium will help us to develop robust research partnerships with other universities and to strengthen the research, teaching and postgraduate opportunities here at Loughborough.”

Superintendent Paul Anderson of Nottinghamshire Police said:

“The challenges facing modern policing are numerous and increasingly complex. 

“The East Midlands Policing Consortium will provide Nottinghamshire Police and our neighbouring forces with new opportunities to use world class research to inform policy making and policing practice in order to use resources in the most effective manner and enhance the way we protect the public.”

Peter Ward, Head of Learning and Development for the East Midlands Police Collaborative HR Services said:

“This is an exciting initiative for the East Midlands police forces, which already lead the way nationally in many areas of policing collaboration.

"With the challenges that the Police Service faces, building strategies from evidence-based research will be essential. The consortium will be a catalyst in co-ordinating and facilitating strong links between the police and academia across the East Midlands region.”

The seven universities currently involved in the consortium are: Loughborough, Nottingham, Nottingham Trent, De Montfort, Derby, Northampton and Warwick.

Loughborough’s police and crime research spans a wide range of disciplines including social sciences, design, engineering, chemistry and business.

Starting this summer, a Senior Research Associate from Loughborough University will also spend 12 months working alongside both Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire police forces to gain a unique insight into their workings and develop strategic research programmes to support their operations as part of a funded Enterprise Project Grant (awarded via the Higher Education Innovation Fund).

Loughborough is leading on this work as part of its Secure and Resilient Societies research challenge.

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