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International Advisory Committee

About Us

An International Advisory Committee comprising leading researchers and senior members of the policing and policy communities from the UK and around the world has been appointed to advise on the strategic direction of SIPR with respect to its key aims of conducting relevant research, making evidence-based contributions to policing policy and practice, and capacity building. The International Advisory Committee will also help identify opportunities for SIPR to engage in research and knowledge transfer activity in partnership with others at both national and international levels.

Profiles of the members of the International Advisory Committee are presented below.

CHAIR: Hon. Dr Gill Imery (Edinburgh Napier University)

Gill Imery has over 36 years of public service experience, all in roles related to criminal justice and policing.  A serving police officer for 32 years, Gill carried out a variety of roles across the country.  She was a Detective Chief Superintendent in Specialist Crime Division, providing national leadership to achieve consistency in standards and policy across all strands of public protection including rape, child sexual abuse, and human trafficking.

On secondment to HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland, Gill conducted a review of the provision of forensic medical services for victims of rape and child sexual abuse and authored a report that was the catalyst for a Scottish Government taskforce and funding.  Ultimately this led to a change in the law in Scotland, ensuring that all health boards deliver forensic medical services and that victims have access to “self-referral” to request an examination without having to make a report to the police.

She was HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland between 2018 and 2022, responsible for providing independent scrutiny of policing and its governance body, the Scottish Police Authority.  In this role, she provided advice to Scottish Ministers, Scottish Government officials and the Scottish Parliament, including giving evidence to Parliamentary Committees.  During her tenure, she published 27 inspection reports and four annual reports, which included her assessment of the state of policing in Scotland.

Since April 2022, Gill has been the external chair to oversee the implementation of recommendations made by an independent review of the response to deaths in prison custody.  Throughout this work, she has prioritised the need to hear the views of families. 

In July 2022, Gill was awarded an honorary doctorate for services to policing by Edinburgh Napier University.

Professor Nick Bland (Scottish Government)

Professor Nick Bland was a co-director of What Works Scotland until September 2017 and led on the Spread and Sustainability workstream. He is now at the Scottish Government.

Nick was the lead for the case site work with Aberdeenshire Community Planning Partnership which is examining the critical dimensions which influence how effective change and improvement initiatives can be ‘spread’ from one context to another, and can be ‘scaled-up’ as a contributor to system-level change.

He also explored collaborative leadership and workforce development.

A Visiting Professor at the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, Nick has 20 years’ experience in social and public policy as a researcher, research funder and practitioner in both United Kingdom and Scottish governments.

Professor Nick Crofts (Director, Global Law Enforcement and Public Health Association)

Professor Nick Crofts is an epidemiologist and public health practitioner who has been working in the fields of HIV/AIDS, illicit drugs, harm reduction and law enforcement for over 30 years. His major epidemiological work has been on the control of HIV and hepatitis C among injecting drug users in Australia (for which he received an NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship) and globally, including almost every country in Asia, for which he received the International Rolleston Award from the International Harm Reduction Association in 1998, and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2018. Through the Centre for Law Enforcement and Public Health, of which he is founding Director, he founded the Law Enforcement and HIV Network (LEAHN) in 2009, and is Director of the annual Law Enforcement and Public Health Conferences (LEPH2019, Edinburgh, October 2019) from which the Global Law Enforcement and Public Health Association has grown.

Professor John Firman (American University, Washington, D.C.)

John R. Firman is a Professor of Practice at American University, in the School of Public Affairs, Department of Justice, Law and Criminology. Prior to joining AU, he served as Director of Research (1994-2016), and Director of Strategic Partnerships (2016-2018) for the International Association of Chiefs of Police. IACP is one of the world’s largest and most influential police leadership organizations, with 30,000 members representing 120 countries. His duties included development and implementation of a national and international law enforcement policy research and evaluation program. He helped create and manage the National Law Enforcement Policy Summit Series, addressing current and emerging issues in the policing profession. 

Dr Victoria Herrington (Australian Institute of Police Management)

Dr Victoria Herrington is Director of Research and Learning at the Australian Institute of Police Management, a role she has held since 2011, prior to which she was Adjunct Professor at Western Sydney University. She is an applied criminologist, working at the intersect between the academic and public safety practitioner worlds. She is committed to supporting excellence in professional practice, and believes that academic insights from across a range of disciplines have much to offer those working in public safety. Her particular areas of interest include leadership and management, leader and leadership development, organisational justice, strategic policing partnerships, and the policing of vulnerable groups.

Dr Vesa Huotari (POLAMK - The Police College of Finland)

Dr Vesa Huotari has been a senior researcher at the Police University College of Finland since 2006. He describes himself as a versatile and innovative scrutiniser of problems. Generally, questions of methodology, administration, management, leadership and education characterise his interests in research. The method he appreciates most and also pursues to practice in his writings is thinking – can we make it work in theory first? He believes in joint learning, built upon criticism and open exchange of ideas, experiences, and insights across fields and borders of all kinds.

Professor Sofie De Kimpe (Free University Brussels)

Sofie De Kimpe is Professor of Criminology at the Department of Criminology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). She teaches subjects on Policing, security policy and Criminological methodology. She started her criminological career at Ghent University with a PhD study on discourses of senior police officers, a sociological study of chief constables of the local police in Flanders. From 2009 to 2013 she worked as an academic expert for the Minister of Internal Affairs and the Belgian Federal police, managing a project ‘police, a learning organization’. The project intended to rethink the Belgian police education system and implement a bachelor and master program for police studies within the Belgian Police. In 2013 she returned to the University of and since 2018 she has been vice-chair of the department of criminology. She is chair of the EU COST ACTION network on POLICE STOPS. She is a founding member and member of the steering group of the ESC Working Group on Policing. 

Dr Cynthia Lum (George Mason University, USA)

Cynthia Lum is a Professor of Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason University and Director of its Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy. Her research focuses on policing tactics, strategies, technology, and organization, crime prevention and deterrence, and evidence-based crime policy. With Professors Christopher Koper and Cody Telep, she has developed tools to help translate research into practice.

Professor Monique Marks (Durban University of Technology)

Prof. Monique Marks currently heads up the Urban Futures Centre at the Durban University of Technology (UFC@DUT). Initially trained as a social worker, she has a doctorate in Sociology from the University of Natal. She has worked mainly as an (activist) academic but has also worked in an NGO (the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation) and for the African National Congress in the period leading up to the first national democratic elections. Monique writes predominantly in the field of criminology and urban studies. She has published widely in the areas of youth social movements, ethnographic research methods, police labour relations, police organizational change and street level drug use.

Dr Vesa Muttilainen (POLAMK - The Police College of Finland)

Dr. Vesa Muttilainen is the Director of Research at the Police University College in Tampere. Currently he is a member of the Board of directors, and responsible for research and development processes. 

His scientific interests have focused especially on financial crime themes such as corruption and economic crime investigation. He also has edited four extensive reports on the Police’s operating environment between 2012 and 2018.

In international context he has served as a member of CEPOL’s research working group and a co-editor of Research & Science Bulletin. He is an associate editor of the Nordic Journal for Policing Research. Recently he has been involved in a large capacity building project on security education (EU-Twinning).

Dr Rick Muir (Police Foundation, UK)

Dr Rick Muir is Director of the Police Foundation, the UK’s independent policing think tank.   He has been a public policy researcher for most of his career, most latterly working on public service reform, including on policing and criminal justice policy, at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). Prior to that he did his DPhil in Latin American politics at the University of Oxford. He is currently a Visiting Professor at Northumbria University, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) and a member of the Cumberland Lodge Police Steering Committee. He was previously a local councillor in both Oxford and Hackney.  Dr Rick Muir joined the IAC in April 2019, suceeding John Graham, Former Director of the Police Foundation, who had been a Founding Member of the IAC since 2007.  

Martin Smith (Scottish Police Authority)

Mr Martin Smith is the Strategy Programme Lead at the Scottish Police Authority, responsible for supporting the Authority’s strategic development and overall approach to commissioning research and evidence gathering activities and using insights from analysis to shape planning.  He has been at the Authority since 2015, having worked previously in a data analytics and strategic intelligence capacity in a number of UK police forces, including Police Scotland, Strathclyde Police, and Bedfordshire Police extending back to 2003.  His background prior to joining the world of policing is in social geography and demography, having been a Postgraduate Researcher at the University of Oxford’s Department of Social Policy and Social Work.

Professor Richard Southby (The George Washington University)

Dr Richard Southby is Distinguished Professor of Global Health and Executive Dean Emeritus, Milken Institute School of Public Health, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA.  Dr. Southby is  also Honorary Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne; Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University; and Faculty of Medicine, The University of Sydney, Australia. In addition to being the Founding Director of the Police Science Program at The George Washington University, Dr. Southby has been affiliated with police education and training programs in Australia, Canada, Hungary, Malaysia, New Zealand, Thailand and the United Kingdom.

Rachel Tuffin OBE (College of Policing, UK)

Rachel Tuffin is the Head of Research, Analysis and Information for the College of Policing. She was formally the Research Programme Manager for the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA), and prior to joining the agency, Rachel oversaw policing research in the Home Office, where she had worked for nine years carrying out and publishing research on a wide range of issues including neighbourhood policing, racist incidents and police leadership. She was awarded the OBE in 2013.

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