The East Midlands Policing Academic Collaboration (EMPAC) exists to improve policing and cut crime in the region through research and innovation. 

Our purpose is to improve policing practice by drawing upon the best research and innovation ideas. We do this by bringing together policing and security professionals with academic researchers to:-

  • drive research and innovation with a policing purpose, focusing on policing priorities
  • inform solutions to shared policing problems in the region by working with a diverse network of researchers to proactively identify insights and innovation opportunities

Our approach

EMPAC focuses on cross border shared policing issues and networks with academic researchers wherever they may be to help connect the best data, insight and innovation to support policing capability. We work together to co-problematise and co-produce high impact research for professional policing practice. 

We also have our own specialist expertise to deliver research products and can also support and advise local forces on research and innovation opportunities. 

EMPAC is not a research funding body but will act as a bidding partner for external research grant applications. 

Respecting the importance and sensitivity of policing and security within society, collaborative research data will be owned by the Police, and will not be not be used or disseminated without explicit Police permission (e.g. a specific jointly agreed data processing contract or data protection agreement).


EMPAC’s strategic lead is Dr Paul Gibson, Deputy Chief Constable. DCC Gibson heads the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU).  EMSOU is a collaboration of five East Midlands police forces (Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire)  that works with strategic partners to tackle major and organised crime. DCC Gibson started his policing career in Grantham before becoming a detective in 2000, then progressing to ACC in Lincolnshire before moving to Derbyshire in 2018, prior to his EMSOU post. Dr Gibson is the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) strategic lead for transforming forensics and the forensic capability network.

EMPAC’s Principal Researcher is Dr John Coxhead, a former police officer, now employed as specialist police staff. Dr Coxhead, a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, holds professorships at Keele and Loughborough Universities. John is also external examiner at Sheffield Hallam University, Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Wales, resident journalistic columnist with Police Professional (the UK’s biggest selling policing publication) and founder of the national Innovation in Policing competition. 

Contact us

EMPAC Principal Researcher:-


Telephone 07470 181050