As part of our core function to drive improved professional practice and innovation in policing, we work collaboratively with universities within, and beyond, our region to bring in the best ideas to benefit policing. As part of that offer, EMPAC also has an in-house capability to carry out its own research insight, with a particular focus on impact. We can also assess and advise on research needs and ‘translate’ existing research to make sense of it for policing application and impact if it’s only been prepared for an academic audience.
This means we can quickly make sense of research that’s already out there and explain it in a way for policing to actually use and apply, such as how we’ve done recently in unpacking the research literature on problem solving. This gives us the best of both worlds as we get both a usable evidence-base but also save operational personnel more time to get on with their work.
Since EMPAC is funded directly by the police, it is not constrained by metrics and performance relating to academic journal publications, only in insights that improve professional policing. This means it can cut through bureaucracy and be more direct to meet policing’s dynamic needs: we’re interested in policing research, not research for research’s sake.
As an in-house function with security clearance we can also handle the sensitivities of data, subject and dissemination in a more straightforward way too, which can sometimes be an issue for policing given the nature of the business. In this way, as a ‘trusted trader’, we can complement the policing strategic intelligence function when there is limited internal capacity, without having to take the work outside.
The principal researcher is Dr John Coxhead, Professor of Policing Innovation and Learning at Loughborough University.
As a qualitative ethnographer, John has been principal researcher on projects for the Home Office and National Co-ordinator’s Office for Serious Crime and has had his research endorsed and used by the Department of Trade and Industry, Race Equality Commission, Skills for Justice, British Security Industry Association and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
As well as writing for 50,000 readers monthly as the Research Inspector, under the multi-million pound investment of the Police Knowledge Fund, John developed the research Impact Capacity Rating tool to drive impact for policing research, which was adopted nationally by the College of Policing. One of John’s key specialisms is design, delivery and evaluation for policing learning transference – getting theory to practice – which was the topic of his doctorate (supervised by Professor Marie Parker-Jenkins and examined by Professor Jerry Wellington of the University of Sheffield) and for which he has since won national awards.
Loughborough is the top University in the Midlands and No.1 in the UK for Criminology. A new Centre for Policing Innovation and Enterprise here is working with partners from all over the world, including Canada and Australia and the UK Police Foundation to accelerate professional policing improvement.
Alongside John is a whole collection of Senior Research Fellows who have specialisms in organisational transformation, leadership development, wellbeing, applied mathematics, health-based approaches in policing, commissioning evaluation, transnational serious organised crime and cyber psychology. Names here you may recognise include Professors Jeremy Levesley, Rob McCusker, Claire Darybshire, Dave Hill and Dr Laura Knight.
If you are interested in using our services, please get in touch.