Research Roundup: a one minute briefing

Here is the latest for September 2021

New strategic lead and focus for EMPAC

Dr Paul Gibson, Deputy Chief Constable for East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU), has taken over strategic leadership of EMPAC from Deputy Chief Constable Kate Meynell.

The refreshed focus will be upon strategic cross border shared issues.

Problem Solving around Lorry Curtain Side theft

Criminals often work in gangs to cut their way into parked lorries to steal cargo goods and transport the stolen contents away on a waiting vehicle. On the criminal market, the stolen items such as alcohol, tobacco, vehicle parts and electrical goods, are adding up to in excess of £90m worth of crime.

To get ahead of the curve, Sgt Paul Moorcroft, problem solving plan manager, is working with researchers in the East Midlands to help identify innovative and enterprising practice improvement opportunities for investigation, disruption or prevention.

New research on County Lines

EMPAC is pleased to be promoting ongoing research by NTU doctoral researcher Barbie Nash. County Lines is a cross border policing issue, that has been well documented by Simon Harding in his 2020 book County Lines: exploitation and drug dealing among urban street gangs (Bristol University Press).

Barbie’s research builds on previous work by adding more insights into how partnerships can work together more holistically to prevent future exploitation of young people.

New research investment

There is an external research grant bid underway to bring new research money into the region to improve policing via EMPAC. Such bids are highly competitive and require a lot of expertise and team work.

The bid is all about tackling serious organised crime (SOC), led by De Montfort University to the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and we are hopeful of an update in Autumn of 2021.

We have already seen substantial investment into the region to tackle knife crime (via the University of Leicester) and improving detention facilities for the vulnerable (via the University of Nottingham), both funded by by the ESRC, so we hope that can add to that in improving policing around mental health and serious organised crime next.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

The four forces and OPCCs in Wales are looking to create a police academic collaboration based on the model developed, and sustained by, EMPAC. EMPAC itself took its original concept inspiration from the Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR) so it’s nice to know that we now too are creating our own legacies! We send our very best wishes and luck to our colleagues in Wales in their venture.

Resilience Forum Research

Dr Dan Sage, Dr Chris Zebrowski and Nina Jorden (Loughborough University) are leading on UK Cabinet Office funded research on Enhancing the use of Resilience Direct in the Covid-19 response: a comparative analysis of Local Resilience Forums.

Modern Slavery Vulnerability Regional Profile

Dr Ben Brewster, of the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab, is working with Detective Inspector Steve Roberts to scope a new regional problem profile to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking. This issue was identified at a regional level as a core vulnerability concern and now stakeholders are being canvassed and research funding sought.

Netgraph: getting more sense out of data faster

EMPAC are exploring a cutting-edge agile data analysis tool called Netgraph that could really change the way data informs improved policing decision-making. Piloting has been underway in Derby and there is scoping for adoption at a national level.