Twitter Feed

Scottish Funding Council gives SIPR a glowing “10-year Impact Report”

Growing a stronger, safer Scotland

This article appeared as an SFC Blog to coincide with the launch of the Report

The seeds of SFC funding have the potential to grow great things. A review, published today, shows that our initial funding for a research project ten years ago has made a difference, helping to contribute towards a safer Scotland and forging strong links between police and academia.

Our initial co-funding of the Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR) in 2007 was one of SFC’s most significant research investments to date. SIPR quickly became self-sustaining and has gone from strength to strength. Ten years after its establishment, the Impact Review explores the value which has grown from SIPR, spurred by SFC funding.

SIPR is an ambitious, innovative, multi-disciplinary, research and knowledge exchange collaboration between 13 Scottish universities and the Scottish police service.

In addition to helping establish the Institute, we provided funding for a small number of policing-related PhDs. By 2016 there were 70 PhD students, completed or currently studying. This dramatic growth in numbers makes Scotland one of the largest centres for postgraduate policing research in the UK. SIPR promotes a collaborative approach to research that involves academics and practitioners from social sciences, natural sciences and humanities – to name but a few – working together in creating, sharing and applying knowledge about policing at a local, national and international level.

SIPR supports the national police policy and practice community in Scotland with high quality, cost effective research and knowledge exchange. As a result the debate on future policing demand and provision is better informed and more widely discussed, contributing to the overall aim of creating a safer environment for the people of Scotland.

As if this weren’t impressive enough, SIPR has been an inspiration around the world, with other countries wishing to replicate similar models in developing their own policing research infrastructure.

Having built up an impressive international network of policing researchers and practitioners over the last ten years, SIPR has created major value for the police. It is strengthening their evidence base for future planning and the sharing of good practice across different policing jurisdictions. Its significant international network has enhanced our universities’ international research profile and impact. Importantly, it has also built up trusting working relationships among international researchers. These have resulted in a growing number of new international research partnerships formed to bid competitively for research funding.

SIPR research is highly regarded, with many universities using SIPR-facilitated projects in their Research Excellence Framework (REF) submissions. SIPR students have also won prestigious awards – In 2016, Dr Kath Murray won the 2016 Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Outstanding Early Career Impact Award for her doctoral research on police-public encounters which revealed very high levels of stop and search in Scotland. Her research sparked a wide debate which has resulted in new legislation, major changes in police practice and a 93% drop in stop searches and seizures.

SIPR is an exemplary investment for SFC in the extent of its ongoing achievement and it has significant potential to make even more of a difference. As the saying goes “mighty oaks from little acorns grow.”

Social Share:

Other Latest News

Seldom Heard Voices: Community Impact Event 


In 2021, SIPR, Police Scotland and Scottish Police Authority funded 5 grants to support research into ‘Seldom Heard’ communities. On Wednesday 26th April, we hosted a collaborative event to present the final research projects to an audience of academics, community members, NGO members, and Police Scotland staff and serving officers. First up, Kirsty Forrester from Dundee City Council and Dr Jonathan Mendel from the University of Dundee discussed their collaborative research with BAME communities and serving officers, highlighting the need for trust. Second, Dr Andrew Williams from St. Andrews and Inspector Jason Peter from the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit presented their ‘Photovoice’ Project which aimed to encourage young people in areas of inequality to engage with their community by taking pictures. Third, Dr Julie Berg and Emily Mann from University of Glasgow and University of Edinburgh respectively presented their project’ Accounting for Complexities: an Intersectional Approach to Enhancing Police Practitioner Accountability, Legitimacy & Sustainable Reform’. Fourth, Professor James Moir and Dr Corinne Jola from Abertay University focus on the topic of empathy with LGBT youth who are care experienced or are from other disadvantaged background. Finally, Bryony Nisbet from Queen Margaret University presented her and Dr Nicole Vidal’s research into refugee and asylum-seeker experiences, trust and confidence with Police Scotland. Following the presentations, representatives from Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority were invited to reflect on the findings and recommendations, and to provide assurances of the SPA and Police Scotland’s ongoing commitment to the communities and the issues raised. Assistant Chief Constable Emma Bond, said: “This important research underlines our commitment to listening to all our communities so we can continually improve how we represent, reflect and serve them. “Providing every citizen with a just and effective police service is fundamental to policing legitimacy and to our ability to keep people safe. “A great strength of Police Scotland is that our officers and staff are drawn from different backgrounds and experiences. What unites us is our shared and non-negotiable set of values – integrity, fairness, respect and a commitment to upholding human rights. “I am grateful to everyone who contributed to this work and we are already considering the recommendations made so that we can continue to design our services to best meet the needs of our communities.” Tom Halpin from the Scottish Police Authority said “The Authority is committed to policing in the public interest, to do that we must understand public views, opinions, and concerns. The research published today will allow us to gain more insight into where to target our activity and attention to ensure we build the strongest relationships we can with all communities in Scotland.” SIPR Director Liz Aston underlined SIPR’s commitment stating that “SIPR will continue to support the dissemination of these important research findings in order to ensure that they impact policing policy and practice”. SIPR hopes to continue to support research into Seldom Heard Communities.



After seven years as a SIPR Associate Director, Professor Denise Martin has made the difficult decision to step down.

SIPR Associate Director


Following Professor Denise Martin’s decision to step down from her role as SIPR Associate Director and lead of the Education and Leadership network, SIPR is now inviting applications from prospective candidates to take on this role.

SIPR Newsletter Sign Up

You will be added to our mailing list to keep you updated with future events and activities from the Scottish Institute for Policing Research

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. For further information please read our Privacy Policy.