Lincolnshire Police HQ was the culmination venue for the final Police studies conference event for a whole cohort of University of Lincoln 3rd year undergraduates studying the optional module ‘Police Studies’. Katie Strudwick, Principal Lecturer, introduced a series of posters created by the students, which were all based on key contemporary policing topics and then invited the Chief Constable and Police and Crime Commissioner to take a look. The module exemplifies collaborative partnership learning in its level of innovativeness by connecting students with policing professionals to complement academic study with contextual insights. Each student develops their knowledge from a series of police practitioner workshops to prepare for their final year submission, including a poster summarising the key findings of their essay. The interaction between the students and professionals is “inspiring” according to Bill Skelly, Lincolnshire’s Chief Constable.
Each student in the module identifies a topic informed by a series of workshops by policing professionals on highly relevant topics: all high on policing’s risk, threat and harm radar. A real diversity of student topics included sex offending, ethics, partnerships, armed policing, use of technology, multiculturalism in policing, leadership and governance. Charlie Burrows explored the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), concluding this needed a refresh given this was created when the digital revolution was in its infancy. Charlie explained, “beyond traditional studies it’s been really interesting seeing policing practice and culture first hand. You get to discuss with professionals the nuances and implications of cases in a greater depth than just reading about them.” Charlie worked with DC Alex Rose to get his insights, reaching conclusions by talking the issues through with policing professionals.
Marc Jones, Lincolnshire’s PCC, said, “the benefits are twofold, I was able to take two interns with me to speak with students, to explain what we do and how we do it. But in addition it’s a great opportunity to get my thinking challenged from new perspectives and insights. The exercise really does help me re-think several key issues.” Georgia Pengelly found the workshop with the PCC inspirational and based her studies on rural crime, exploring the PCC’s strategic plan. Georgia said, “getting that insight into the role of PCC was priceless knowledge for me, I got far more insights from that than reading some journals as there is not much academic literature about rural crime published. ” Georgia is taking her skills and knowledge to work next with Lincoln Action Trust, a charity working with people released from prison.
John Miller was interested in the issues around armed policing, particularly accountability and legal frameworks. He said, “I didn’t think much about armed policing before I had the opportunity to experience a police-led workshop. I’ve never even considered how much regulation and procedure there was in just carrying a firearm around. But the real eye opener was the incredible decision making that has to happen in split seconds. They explained how important the training was in getting you ready for that level of responsibility.”
Chief Constable Bill Skelly explained to the students that policing didn’t just recruit pairs of hands, but inquisitive minds. The educational experience combined working with practitioners on key topics offering a great way of bringing in fresh perspectives, as well as showing to the students some ‘real world’ perspectives. In this way, the approach offers much potential through best practice to learn from each other.
The next 3rd year cohort will be starting in the next academic year, and to develop the links even further, Lincoln are offering their Police Studies students East Midlands Police Academic Collaboration (EMPAC) Fellowships, to link academic research with professional perspectives further. Future student work will be offered publication on the EMPAC web to help spread those fresh insights and comments about policing. A future generation, who are both academically and professionally informed, can only be good news not just for policing but for society as a whole.
See the posters here!
Poster displays are a great way of getting lots of key information over in one page. EMPAC is pleased to be able to give you access to a series of posters from the event: enjoy!
Charlotte Le-Pla – arming the police
Max McKendry – use of targets in policing
Melody Hodgkins – the role of the PCC
Charlie Burrows – RIPA
Nathaniel Hiorns – regulation of private security
John Miller – armed police accountability
Crystal Andrews – online child sexual exploitation
Douglas Collison – bodyworn cameras and public relations
Rachel Smith – urban knife crime
Bryoni Smith – policing child sexual exploitation
Hope Tolliday – policing mental health
Georgia Pengelly – rural policing
Beatrix De Arcos Marin – technology in policing
Cameron Houghton – using technology in child sexual exploitation
Sam Trendall – role of the PCC