Susan Klein

Aberdeen Centre for Trauma Research
Former Director
Tel: +44(0)1224 263102


As Director of the ACTR, my interest in pursuing policing research and knowledge exchange has focussed predominantly on the evaluation of the psychosocial impact of critical incidents under the auspices of ACTR-related Police (Special Operations) Research Group and augmented by experience gained from being an invited member of the following endeavours.

- Guidance Development Advisory Group and Research Assessment team commissioned by the Department of Health and NATO to provide evidence-informed guidance on the psychosocial response to major incidents (including terrorist events)

-  Scottish Government (SG) 2013 best practice national strategic guidance for implementation as part of the Care for People affected by Emergencies.

- SG Scottish Trauma Advisory Group for the development of trauma-informed national services.

- Emergency Preparedness Offshore Liaison Group; an industry-led forum supported by Police Scotland to improve offshore emergency response in the northern United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS) and West of Shetland.

- Mind (National Association for Mental Health) Blue Light Advisory Panel to oversee programme development and delivery of a work programme funded by the Cabinet Office in supporting the mental health of personnel working across blue light services.

- Deputy Chair of Sudden Trauma Information Self Help Management Committee (


I have had an active involvement with SIPR since its establishment in 2007 when the ACTR first became a member of the thematic network on police organisation. Since being appointed as the Director of the ACTR in 2011, I have assumed responsibility for maintaining and developing the links and collaborations with SIPR, which has continued to be supportive of the endeavours generated by members of the Police [Special Operations] Research Group (as evidenced by examples of funding identified below). Established by Emeritus Professor David A Alexander in 2009 under the aegis of the ACTR, the objectives of the Police [Special Operations] Research Group are to: (i) conduct applied research to ensure police operations and training are evidence-based; (ii) promote collaboration between police practitioners and academics, and (iii) actively contribute to the strategic aims of Police Scotland and SIPR. For example, SIPR funded former Chief Inspector A Brown and Inspector C Menzies to pursue innovative research of operational value, in part fulfilment of their Practitioner Fellowships. This has led to their being able to identify and to pursue further productive opportunities in the research and training domains. SIPR also provided essential support for an extremely successful Negotiators’ Conference held at the Scottish Police College (SPC). The Organising Committee were able to select personally a large, multi-professional audience, and the Committee was also able to secure the  distinguished contribution of senior police negotiators, academics, and former hostages as speakers.

From a School of Nursing and Midwifery perspective there is an increasing focus on enhancing partnership working both in practice and research-related opportunities. The relationships developed within the ACTR membership of the Police [Special Operations] Research Group have been pivotal in supporting contemporary thinking in relation to interdisciplinary police and nursing collaborations. This strategic link has already provided knowledge networking thereby influencing the undergraduate nursing curriculum to better understand evidence-based practice areas of public protection particularly in custody care and inter-disciplinary working.  This knowledge networking link has also influenced both journal publications and conference presentations including the RCN International Nursing Research Conference presentation in London delivered by a Lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Ms Inga Heyman. In addition, a virtual police office and custody suite has been developed to support mental health nurses and police officers understand the complex needs of those coming to the attention of the police and to encourage collaborative practice. The links to police research and operational policing through the ACTR and Police Scotland have supported this development. The information sharing and knowledge creation between the SPC and the School of Nursing and Midwifery (RGU) are extremely relevant and important in the development of collaborative police and health care research. Whilst these relationships are relatively new, the work that has derived thus far is attracting increasing attention. From a nursing perspective it is a novel and welcome collaboration. From a local policing perspective it is recognised that the relationships built within ACTR linking the SPC, RGU and health services supports improved interagency working, and has generated considerable interest in new research and educational opportunities. This has been reflected in the development of the Public Protection Inter-professional Education (IPE) group where senior police have joined the IPE group to work more collaboratively in relation to Public Protection issues in education.


Alexander, D.A, Klein, S. (2001). Ambulance personnel and critical incidents. Impact of accident and emergency work on mental health and emotional well-being. British Journal of Psychiatry, 178, 76-81.

Alexander, D.A., Klein, S. (2003). Bio-chemical terrorism: too awful to contemplate, too serious to ignore. British Journal of Psychiatry, 183, 491-497.

Alexander, D.A., Klein, S. (2005).  The psychological aspects of terrorism: from denial to hyperbole.  Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 98, 557-562.

Alexander, D.A., Klein, S. (2006). The challenge of preparation for a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear terrorist attack. Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, 52, 126-131.

Alexander, D.A., Klein, S. (2008). Combat-related disorders: a persistent chimera. Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps, 154, 96-101.

Klein, S., Alexander, D.A. (2009). Epidemiology and presentation of post-traumatic disorders. Psychiatry, 8(8), 282-287.

Alexander, D.A,. Klein, S. (2009).  Kidnapping and hostage-taking: a review of effects, coping and resilience.  Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 102, 16-21.

Alexander, D.A., Klein, S. (2009).  First responders: a review of stress reactions, at risk and vulnerability, and resilience factors.  Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 24(2), 87-94.

Alexander, D.A., Klein, S. (2010). Hostage-taking: motives, resolution, coping and effects.  Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 16, 176-183.

Deahl, M., Klein, S., Alexander, D.A. (2011). The cost of conflict: meeting the mental health needs of serving personnel and service veterans. International Review of Psychiatry, 23, 201-209.


Book Chapters (selected):

Alexander, D.A., Klein, S. (2011). Human reactions to trauma: their features and management. In: Practical Prehospital Care. The Principles and Practice of Immediate Care (eds, I Greaves, K Porter, J Smith) Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, London.

Klein, S., Alexander, D.A. (2011). Impact of trauma within organisations.  In: Managing Trauma in the Workplace, (ed, N Tehrani).  Routledge, London.

Alexander, D.A,. Klein, S. (2012). Mental health, trauma and bereavement. In: Grief, Loss and Bereavement: Evidence and Practice for Health and Social Care Practitioners. (eds. P Wimpenny and J Costello). Routledge, London.

Klein, S. (2013). Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. In:  J Smedley, F Dick, and S Sadhra (eds) Oxford Textbook of Occupational Health, Oxford University Press: Oxford., pp.312-315.


Reports (selected):

NATO Joint Medical Committee (2009). Non-binding Guidance. “A model for designing, delivering, and managing psychosocial services for people involved in major incidents, conflicts, disasters and terrorism”. (Klein S was a member of the Guidance Development Advisory Group and the Research Assessment Team for this production).

Scottish Government (2013). Preparing Scotland. Responding to the Psychosocial and  Mental Health Needs of People Affected by Emergencies. ISBN: 978-1-78412-004-7 (Klein S was a member of the Expert Advisory Group for this production).

Klein, S., Alexander, D.A., Busuttil, W. (2013). Scoping Review: A Needs-Based Assessment and Epidemiological Community-Based Survey of Ex-Service Personnel and their Families in Scotland. Final Report. The Scottish Government.


Invited Talks (selected):

Klein, S. (2012). Engendering resilience within the Emergency Services. Key Note Address. CISM Network Ireland, National University of Ireland Maynooth, Ireland, 18th June, 2012.

Klein, S. (2012). Psychosocial Resilience in First Responders. Invited Plenary Talk. BASICS Scotland Conference 10th Anniversary, Nairn, Scotland, 14-15th September, 2012.

Klein, S. (2014). Post Incident Stress Management. Invited Seminar. Scottish Ambulance Service National Risk and Resilience Division. Incident Response Course 2014, Scottish Police College, 6th March 2014.

Klein, S. (2014).  Veterans Mental Health and Social Care: An Overview from a Scottish Perspective. Key Note Address. Veterans and Families Institute Conference, Postgraduate Medical Institute, Angela Ruskin University, Essex, 16th April, 2014.

Klein, S. (2014). Invited Presentation. Post Traumatic Stress Management. UAEU College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, 11th June, 2014.

Klein, S. (2014). Post-traumatic Stress Management. Invited Seminar. UAE National Ambulance Headquarters, Abu Dhabi, 12th June, 2014.

Klein, S. (2014). Post Incident Stress Management. Invited workshop. Scottish Ambulance Service Incident Response Course, Scottish Police College, Tulliallan, Fife, Scotland, 6th March, 2014.

Klein, S. (2014). Preparing For Emergencies. Invited workshop. Early Interventions for Trauma Workshop, British Psychological Society, 25th November, 2014.

Klein, S. (2014). Preparing For Emergencies. Invited workshop. Early Interventions for Trauma Workshop, British Psychological Society, 8th January 2015.


Published Abstracts Selected:           

Falconer, M., Klein, S. and Alexander, D.A. (2009).  “Resilience and Well-being in a Scottish Police Force.  Abstract, International Conference on Coping and Resilience.  Dubrovnik, 3rd -6th  October 2009.

Falconer, M., Klein, S., Woolnough, P. and Alexander, D.A.(2010).  “Resilience and Well-being in a Scottish Police Force”.  Poster, Institute for Health and Welfare Research Launch.  Aberdeen, 12 November 2010.

Falconer, M., Klein, S., Woolnough, P. and Alexander, D.A. (2010).  “Resilience and Well-being in a Scottish Police Force”.  Poster, SIPR Fourth Annual Conference, “Policing in an age of austerity”.  Dundee, 14th -15th  September 2010.

Falconer, M., Alexander, D.A. and Klein, S. (2013). “Resilience and well-being in a Scottish Police Force”. Dundee: The Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR)

Joseph, S., Diack, L., Klein, S., Heyman, I., McCluskey, S., Woolnough, P. (2014). “Protecting Vulnerable Members of Society”. ENTER Conference, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.

Heyman, I., McCluskey, S., Woolnough, P., Klein, S., Joseph, S., Diack, L., Reddish, A., Falconer, M. (2014). “Collaborative vulnerabilities? – understanding the challenges of interagency practice and education to protect those most susceptible to serious harm in Scotland”. The Second International Conference on Law Enforcement and Public Health (LEPH), Amsterdam, 5th - 8th October 2014.

Joseph, S., Diack L., Klein, S., Heyman, I., McCluskey, S., Woolnough, P. (2014). “Investigating the Working Practices of Professionals Protecting Vulnerable Adults: A Scottish Perspective”. 4th International Conference on Violence in the Health Sector: Towards Safety, Security and Wellbeing for All, Hyatt Regency Miami, USA, 22nd – 24th October 2014.

Sundari, J., Klein, S., Heyman, I., Diack, L., McCluskey, S., Woolnough, P. (2016).

Awareness Event at Scottish Parliament to highlight key outcomes from SRKEP project, 25th February 2016.

Sundari, J., Klein, S., Heyman, I., Diack, L., McCluskey, S., Woolnough, P. (2016).

Delivery of workshop on “Developing values based education to safeguard vulnerable adults and enhance public protection: An Interagency Approach” to All Together Better Health VIII, taking place in Oxford, UK, September 6th - 9th, 2016.



Most recently, in collaboration with Professor Nick Fyfe (Director, SIPR), I have been responsible for securing acceptance of a concurrent session at the Third International Conference on Law Enforcement and Public Health (LEPH) to be held in Amsterdam, 2nd – 5th October 2016. Entitled “Optimising police-academic collaborative research on public health and protection: A Scottish Model”, the objective of the session is to showcase the SIPR model of police-academic collaboration by highlighting its successful collaboration and links with the ACTR (Police [Special Operations] Research Group).


Currently, within the field of police-related research, I am a Principal Supervisor for a Doctorate in Professional Practice (Andy Brown - kidnap and long term crisis management for Non Governmental Organisations) and a Second Supervisor for a PhD (Inga Heyman - Black, white and grey – a study of the interface and pathways between police, those in mental health distress and emergency health services).

Last Updated: Fri 24 Jun 16