As part of the new East Midlands Police and Crime Research and Development Plan, priority areas for research action are starting to be identified and initial events to scope development planned. The first of these surrounds the topic of ‘wellbeing’.
The drive for this particular event – a roundtable discussion – come from activity in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire, but will draw on the insights of the whole region and beyond. For Lincolnshire specfically, the intention is to plan a Wellbeing ‘Screening’ programme, which will be a test site for the national police wellbeing programme. There are two areas in which academic support is needed in particular:
- Designing a psychological screening/check process (to help us prepare a specification for a procurement process in the summer)
- Development of an evaluation plan (we will need to provide evaluation that is at least level 3 on the Maryland Scale – see below)
For Northamptonshire, the opportunity is to enhance the existing Police Peer Support Network Programme, which is also part of the national police wellbeing programme.
The workshop style event will be hosted at Lincolnshire Police HQ on 3rd May 2018. If you are interested in coming along to offer insight and support please contact Julie Wilkins at email@example.com.
EMPAC explains all about the Maryland Scale here:-
What is known as experimental evaluation involves examining the impact of an intervention by taking measurements before and after. Professor Larry Sherman (et al) developed a 5 point scale called the Maryland Scientific Method Scale (SMS) to evaluate the methodological quality of studies (the criteria is listed below):
Level 1: Correlation between a prevention programme and a measure of crime at one point in time (e.g. areas with CCTV have lower crime rates than areas without CCTV)
Level 2: Measures of crime before and after the programme, with no comparable control conditions (e.g. crime decreased after CCTV was installed)
Level 3: Measures of crime before and after the programme in experimental and control conditions (e.g. crime decreased after CCTV was installed in an experimental area, but there was no decrease in crime in a comparable area)
Level 4: Measures of crime before and after in multiple experimental and control units, controlling for the variables that influence crime (e.g. victimisation of premises under CCTV surveillance decreased compared to victimisation of control premises, after controlling for features of premises that influenced their victimisation)
Level 5: Random assignment of program and control conditions to units (e.g. victimisation of premises randomly assigned to have CCTV surveillance decreased compared to victimisation of control premises)
The challenge can be in establishing cause and effect and in particular seeking to establish if any change has occurred due to other possible reasons (known as ‘confounding variables’). Real world research has to manage suitable control units, and ideally control and experimental units are identical and then when an intervention is introduced into the experimental unit any difference between the two units can be attributed to the intervention.
The College of Policing are currently advocating through ‘What Works’ The Campbell Collaboration (). A key focus here is to conduct systematic evaluations on a range of research studies to ‘estimate the average effect size in evaluations’ (Welsh and Farrington, 2008: 12). This type of research draws together the findings from a range of studies and is referred to as a meta-analysis.