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SIPR Practitioner Fellowships

Research Activites | Information about SIPR Practitioner Fellowships.

Police staff and other practitioners with interests in policing are invited to submit proposals to the Institute for Practitioner Fellowships. These provide the opportunity to engage in a piece of policing related research under the supervision and guidance of an academic member of staff. Fellowships can be held for variable lengths of time and should be focused on a specific issue or question. Practitioner Fellows will also agree a set of outputs from their period of study, which might include a briefing paper for the police service and an article or conference presentation co-authored with their academic supervisor. Small amounts of funding are available to cover the costs of travel to and from the host institution and research expenses, such as photocopying and printing.

Those interested in applying for a Practitioner Fellowship are encouraged to contact the Director or one of the Associate Directors of the Scottish Institute for Policing Research.

• The Fellowships are aimed at all practitioner groups involved with the policing of Scotland, including police officers and other police staff, those working on policing issues in central and local government, the business community and in the voluntary sector.

• The Fellowships provide an opportunity for practitioners to work together with members of academic staff from the consortium universities on the practical and/or policy applications of a policing topic or issue. Academic staff will provide guidance on issues of research design and methodology, including topics such as data collection and analysis, the relationship with other relevant research, and the writing up and presentation of the project.

• Fellowships can be held for variable lengths of time, but would normally be a minimum of 3 months duration and a maximum of 12 months. Over this period there would be regular one-day or half-day meetings between the Practitioner Fellow and the academic staff to discuss the development and progress of the project.

• Practitioner Fellows will agree a set of outputs from their period of study, which might include a briefing paper for the police service and an article or conference presentation co-authored with their academic supervisor.

• By drawing on the expertise of practitioners to undertake rigorous and robust analysis of specific issues, the Fellowship programme aims to make a significant contribution to improving policing in Scotland. Benefits will therefore be felt by organisations, communities and individuals involved in policing, whether as ‘providers’ or ‘consumers’.

• By creating opportunities for regular interaction between practitioners and university researchers, the programme will contribute to processes of knowledge exchange and knowledge transfer. The programme will enhance practitioner awareness and understanding of relevant research, and academic awareness of the key issues facing organisations involved with policing.

• At an individual level too there will be important benefits for practitioner fellows in terms of developing their knowledge and understanding of particular topics as well as enhancing their research skills; for academic staff the programmes offers opportunities to gain important insights into specific issues, forge new research partnerships and expand research networks.

• The funding available is only to cover items such as the costs of travel to and from the host institution and research expenses, such as photocopying and printing, inter-library loans, fieldwork, and attendance at conferences. It does not cover salaries.

• You should be a member of a practitioner group involved with the policing of Scotland, including police forces and other police organizations, central or local government, the business community and the voluntary sector.

• You should not use a fellowship to support work being undertaken as part of a Higher degree.

How to apply and criteria for assessment

Applicants should submit their ideas for research to be carried out under this programme (maximum of two A4 pages) to the Director of SIPR indicating the following:

• Your objectives during the fellowship and the added value of the work in terms of its contribution to improvements in policing;

• Your planned activities over the period which you would hold a fellowship and what you see as the key outputs from the fellowship;

• Background information including your name, your organisation, contact details, preferred start date and duration of fellowship; partner university and academic supervisor(s).

Applicants must also include a letter of support from their line-manager.

Assessment of your application will be in terms of its potential to contribute to improvements in policing.

Examples of recent and current SIPR Practitioner Fellowships

Police Scotland – Review of Glasgow City Centre Policing Plan

• Fellowship Practitioner Sergeant Stephen McAllister (Police Scotland)

• Fellowship Sponsor Chief Inspector Audrey Hand (Police Scotland)

• Academic Researcher Dr Colin Atkinson (University of the West of Scotland)

• Contact:

Research Context:

The policing of the largest city in Scotland has historically focused on the police officer resources deployable to the city centre itself as opposed to being inclusive of partnerships and night time economy of the west end of Glasgow for example.  The city centre has around 800 licensed premises (not including the west end) and with a national recognised culture of alcohol “over-indulgence” in Scotland, it is vital that any such model of policing is reflective of society demographics and demands.  The policing model utilised has regularly been reviewed over the years with a view to supporting and meeting the demands of the public, businesses, third sector. Elected representatives and night economy industry to name but a few. Changing demands means influences to policing styles and methods therefore it is of utmost importance to recognise the transient population, changing criminal activity and societal views on how this should be undertaken and delivered.

Historically Greater Glasgow Division (formerly A, B & G Divisions) has always been supported by mutual aid police officers tasked with working in Glasgow City Centre from elsewhere to maximise resources. These officers were identified from divisional planning departments from across the West Divisions including headquarters departments (formerly Strathclyde Police) and deployed to night shift duties over an identified weekend. Officers were tasked with reporting directly to the on duty Inspector at the City Centre Police Office and thereafter tasked with duties at the night shift briefing.

Over a period of time, this model was reviewed by previous Divisional Commanders and with the creation of Police Scotland, G Division became larger with a strong belief there was an ability to sustain policing/resources internally. A further model utilising G Division departmental officers who worked mainly day shift hours was introduced thus meaning that certain officers were required to support the policing of this city centre plan working night shifts operationally at various weekends throughout the year. This was knowns as CAV days (Campaign Against Violence). This was through time, renamed to Local Days of Action (LDA).  More recently the utilisation of CAV/LDA officers has been eroded quite significantly with limited departmental officers assisting with the policing of the City Centre nowadays.

These resources were vital to support the city policing at peak times however it is also recognised that other demands such as major events in the city often results in resources being re-deployed /reviewed as per the category of risk / intelligence.

The top five local priorities for Glasgow City area (Local Police Plan 2017-2020) are as follows:

• Antisocial behaviour and disorder
• Homes being broken into
• Violent crime
• Drug dealing/drug misuse
• Littering/Fly-tipping


• Identify, document and appraise the current demands on policing in the city centre and associated challenges

• Review the history and basis for previous models and consider the wider policing requirement outwith the weekend city centre policing model

• Research, analyse and evaluate the resources previously and currently utilised and recommend requirements to meet current demand

• Review the wider argument for inclusion of the west-end night-time economy and provide a platform / model to pilot this

• Review the requirement for deeper and sustainable partnership working with relevant agencies and stakeholders.

Planned Activity:

• In relation to Objective 1: engage with city centre divisional analytical team and strategic command team, and subsequently produce a short document outlining key demands on policing and current/emerging challenges

• In relation to Objective 2: liaise with current and previous planners, practitioners and officers involved, tracing the development and rationale for current arrangements

• In relation to Objective 3: review policing structure, shift patterns, resource availability and make recommendation to improve / make best use of resources.

• In relation to Objective 4: evaluate the impact on the west-end, review / discuss with Area Commanders and propose options to overcome practicalities (such as briefing officers / deployment of resources).

• In relation to Objective 5: consult, review and evaluate the extent of partnership engagement, guidance and direction, influence and ownership of the policing model.

Key Outputs:

• Provision of a formal report with recommendations for improvements

• Presentation to divisional management / key partners

• Where possible report within three months timescale

Special Constable Recruitment and Training

• Fellowship Practitioner Sergeant Andrew Wilson (Police Scotland)

• Fellowship Sponsor Superintendent Chris Stones (Police Scotland)

• Academic Researcher Dr Andrew Wooff (Edinburgh Napier University)

• Contact:


About the Practitioner: 

I am a Police Sergeant currently based in Operational Training Development within Training Leadership and Development at the Scottish Police College. One of my projects in this role is overseeing a Training Needs Analysis for the role of a Special Constable, with the stated aim of aligning the training of a Special Constable with that of a regular Constable, providing recognition of prior learning for Special Constables transitioning to a regular,

I have a MA(Hons) from the University of Dundee (2004) and a postgraduate MA in Social Policy and Criminology from the Open University (2010). My Masters dissertation was a Critical Discourse Analysis of Police Protestor Relationships at Faslane 365.


Research Context:

The context of this Practitioner Fellowship is to examine the recruitment of serving Special Constables as regular officers in Police Scotland. Currently, Special Constables who apply to become regular officers have to follow the recruitment and training path alongside applicants without prior experience.

Proposals are currently being developed which would allow Special Constables to have their service recognised with either a reduced initial Probationer Training Course or not attend the initial Probationer Training Course.

It has been argued that the current process is inefficient; Special Constables are able to demonstrate a track record of policing skills that is not recognised or accredited if they join transition to full-time employment. Double training them is inefficient and potentially harmful, leading to disengagement.

The counter argument is there isn’t effective governance over a special constable’s performance to enable an accurate assessment of ability to transition to regular officer and little structured opportunity for Special Constables to pursue continuous professional development after initial training to enhance policing skills. This argument is supported by an abortive attempt to provide a Special Constables conversion course. The provision of this course will be included in the research as part of a general review of the current position of Special Constable training and recruitment.

For Police Officers who have left and subsequently re-joined the police a bespoke training package is put in place that recognises their previous skills and experience so there is a model and precedent in place that could be leveraged for Special Constables.

The objective of this research project is to close the knowledge gaps in relation to Special Constables transitioning to full time roles by developing an evidence base of operational competence and exploring the current requirement to re-train these officers.


Planned Activities and Outputs

The research will commence with a literature review to provide greater understanding of the training and deployment of Special Constables across the UK including the transfer from Special to Regular. Included in the literature review will be a general review of current Special Constable training and recruitment.

The aim of the research project will be:

To evaluate the current training provision for Special Constables transitioning to full time Constables and examine ways to improve this process

The research questions which will be explored are

• To examine and evaluate the current training provision to assess its efficiency

• To evaluate the performance of Special Constables after they transition against a non-special recruit

• To evaluate the potential impact of any changes to the training provision.

The research methodology will be to follow a cohort of Special Constables during their training to become regular Police Officers. Police Scotland currently recruit approximately 200 officers quarterly, with approximately 10% being Special Constables. They will be surveyed at key milestones during their first year of training,

To provide a comparative position, a similar number of recruits with a non-police background will also be surveyed. Focus groups will be used to provide more detailed information from the survey responses.

A number of interviews will be conducted with key stakeholders, Operational Commanders, Training Staff and Tutor Constables to provide a detailed perspective.

An ethical challenge to this research is ensuring the independence of the research. The hierarchical nature of the Police and the researcher rank may restrict or colour this discussion. To alleviate this, all surveys will be anonymous, focus group attendees will be assured of confidentiality and attendees will be asked not to wear police uniform.


The specific outputs of this research will be

• Develop evidential base for Special Constable training and recruitment

• Improve efficiency of Special Constable training and recruitment

• Present findings and recommendations to TLD Management Team

• Publication within a peer-reviewed journal

Adults Who Go Missing from Care Settings in Scotland

• Fellowship Practitioner PC Cameron Tait (Lothian and Scottish Borders Division)

• Fellowship Sponsor Superintendent Jim Royan (Lothian and Scottish Borders Division)

• Academic Researcher Dr Penny Woolnough (Abertay University)

• Contact:


Research Context:

In February 2015 the Police Scotland National Missing Persons Unit produced the partnership agreement “Adults Who Go Missing From Care Settings in Scotland” which focused on two distinct areas; Prevention and Response.

The agreement sought to ensure that partnership risk assessment and management of vulnerable missing adults is given the appropriate level of response.

Within this context, Police Scotland and the Scottish Government are currently developing the National Missing Person Framework. The framework has four overarching themes;

• Prevention
• Responding
• Support and Protection
• To Protect Vulnerable Missing People

As part of the development of the framework, and with due cognisance to the Prevention and Response theme, Police Scotland undertook a pilot with a view to the creation of a document containing the details, description and history of suitably identified individuals within a care setting, who have been deemed at a higher risk of becoming a missing person.

The document, called the Care Home Plan (CHP), would be provided to the Police at the outset of any missing person report, increasing the likelihood of tracing the individual as soon as possible.

The pilot area covered three territorial divisions within Police Scotland incorporating a total population of nearly 1.5 million people, 7 Local Authorities, 257 care homes and nearly 23,500 individuals with a diagnosis of Dementia.

Acting as a focus for partners to work together to deliver change, the aim of the pilot was to strengthen the response to reports of missing persons, whilst supporting and protecting them.

In October 2016 I carried out an evaluation the pilot. The evaluation report made the following recommendations;


Research Objectives:

The objective of this practitioner fellowship research is to explore key aspects of the recommendations, and how they can be implemented in the setting of effective collaborative working between Police Scotland, partner agencies and third sector organisations. This will be undertaken in the main by qualitative research, with research, analysis and evaluation of several research methods including focus groups with key partners, participant observation within organisations with responsibility in the area of missing persons and those with a diagnosis of dementia (NHS, Social Work, Care Inspectorate, etc.). The intention would be to undertake comparative studies of current processes in this field in other geographical areas of the United Kingdom (England & Wales / Northern Ireland) and potentially one other country to garner experience, best practices and develop shared learning.


Planned Activities:

• Development and creation of effective focus groups including makeup of collaborative members and methodology.

• Research of technical and ethical questions over use of data collection / databases and how information can be shared.

• Involvement of NHS / Social work / Police in the process of identifying an appropriate risk grading process to accurately grade subjects level of priority and resource allocation for inclusion in the protocol.


To Establish the Effects of a Role-Specific 12-Week Balance and Stability Conditioning Programme on the Shooting Accuracy in the Standing (Unsupported) Position, with a Handgun, of Authorised Firearms Officers (AFOs) Within Police ScotlandMichael Creaney

• Partner University: University of the West of Scotland
• Academic Supervisor: Dr Chris Easton
• Contact:



The primary weapon used by police firearms officers is the carbine, (a short-barrelled rifle) such as the Heckler and Koch G36. Officers are also trained in the use of handguns such as the Glock 17, which is issued to provide not only an additional tactical option, but to act as a ‘back-up’ weapon should the primary weapon develop a fault. Officers are trained to use both weapons in a variety of positions. (ie, Standing, kneeling, prone – supported and unsupported). Whilst proficient use of either weapon requires a considerable amount of training, many officers find it difficult to achieve and sustain the required standard of accuracy with the handgun, especially in the standing unsupported position. Officers who are unable to achieve or sustain the required shooting standard are withdrawn from firearms duties. Aside from the significant training costs and negative effect on individual officers, the loss of personnel trained in this very specialist police role impairs the ability of a force to meet the demands of providing an armed response to incidents. Initial discussions with Senior Officers and Firearms Training Staff from Police Scotland indicates that this is an ongoing issue throughout the force, and has been for some time.

Importance of Postural Balance and Stability in Shooting Accuracy
Research material in this subject area generally is extremely scant, and more so when specifically considering police use of firearms. However, some analogous research has taken place into sporting, recreational and military shooting skills. Several studies have emphasised the importance of postural balance and stability when shooting from the standing position, with some of these studies also concluding that balance / stability training may improve shooting accuracy. Studies have also established a connection between postural sway, aim point fluctuation and shooting accuracy.


Aims, Objectives and Methodology:

• Select a small group (12) of AFOs who are qualified in the handgun.

• Test their balance, fitness and shooting accuracy before the research intervention.

• Divide the participants into two groups of 6 officers (One ‘control’ group and one intervention group)

• Have the intervention group participate in a role-specific balance and stability fitness program. (2 x 1-hour sessions for 12 weeks)

• Re-test the balance, fitness and shooting accuracy of both groups after the intervention to establish any changes.


Outputs and Benefits :

• The discharge of a firearm by a police officer in public is an extremely rare event. However, it does happen, and such occasions present an inherent risk to innocent members of the public. Improving the shooting accuracy of firearms officers will at least go some way to minimising public risk.

• The training program will involve exercises which, as far as possible, can be performed with minimal equipment and in a relatively small space. The overall aim of this would be to provide the force with a simple, inexpensive exercise program which existing AFOs could perform at home to help maintain their shooting standards, or which could be performed by AFO candidates in preparation for initial firearms training.

Looked After and Accommodated Children: Evaluating the Impact of a National Partnership Agreement in Dundee

DC Richard Grieve Police Scotland, Dundee

• Partner Universities: University of Dundee and Abertay University

• Academic Supervisors: Professor Nick Fyfe and Dr Penny Woolnough

• Contact:



In 2015/2016 over 350,000 missing person incidents were reported to Police within the United Kingdom. This equates to a missing person being reported every 90 seconds and upwards of 370 each day (National Crime Agency, 2017)

Within Scotland over 40,000 missing person incidents are reported to Police Scotland each year and Looked After and Accommodated Children make up around 12,000 of these incidents (Police Scotland, 2017).

Looked After and Accommodated Children are amongst the most vulnerable members of society and the ‘majority go missing because of abuse, neglect or conflict at home, and many also have serious mental health issues. While missing, 1 in 6 children sleep rough or stay with someone they have just met, and 1 in 8 report being physically harmed’ (Missing People, 2016).

In December 2015, Police Scotland commenced piloting The Looked After Children who go missing from Residential Care in Scotland, National Partnership Agreement across 3 pilot areas.


Aims and Objectives :

The primary aim will be to evaluate the National Partnership Agreement, in its implementation in Dundee local authority against the following framework of competencies. Particular focus will be given to the impact of the implementation of the absent category.

• Safeguarding: Evaluating the implications of the absent category with regards to the safeguarding of Looked After and Accommodated Children.

• Legitimacy: Exploring how professionals and young people viewed the partnership agreement and implementation of the absent category.

• Efficiency: Examining the impact with regards to Police and social work resources. Did the absent category result in less ‘missing’ episodes involving the Police.

• Interagency Working: Exploring positive or negative effects of the partnership agreement in terms of how agencies worked together, communicated and perceived one another.


Methodology :

It is envisaged that mixed methods research will be undertaken, whereby qualitative research methodology will be combined with existing data from Dundee City Council and Tayside Division of Police Scotland.

• Survey of LAC Children: LAC Children within 5 Dundee City Council residential houses will be invited to complete a survey that will seek to capture their understanding of the NPA and provide them with an opportunity to voice their views around incidents whereby they have been reported absent or missing. The competencies listed in the framework will be explored using terminology that relates to the LAC children’s perspective.

• Survey of Key professionals: Residential staff, social workers, third sector support workers and police officers will be provided with an electronic survey, which they can complete anonymously. The survey will aim to explore their understanding of the NPA and their views on how it has impacted the competencies listed in the framework. As there was no survey or evaluation conducted prior the NPA being introduced, and therefore no comparative baseline data, participants will be encouraged to reflect on how they perceived issues relating to these competencies have evolved in the last 3 years.

• Semi structured Interviews: Key informants such as senior residential staff, social work department management and police community team managers will be invited to participate in semi structured interviews. As these individuals have a current working relationship with the researcher, an individual independent to the NPA, Dundee City Council and Police Scotland will be trained to carry out these interviews.


Outputs and Benefits :

A paper will be produced and available through the SIPR website. The findings of the paper will be shared with Police Scotland, Dundee City Council and any other interested local authorities or parties.

It is hoped that the findings will assist in continuing to improve this National Partnership Agreement and provide evidenced good practice.

This research should also contribute to the growing field of academic literature around safe guarding vulnerable children.

Risk Terrain Modeling and Accident Improvement Programmes

Duncan Sage Tayside Safety Camera Partnership

• Partner Universities: University of Dundee

• Academic Supervisors: Dr Alastair Geddes

• Year: 2014

• Duration: 6 months


Research Context and Objectives:

As the Data Analyst for Tayside Safety Camera Partnership for eight and a half years, I have long sought a positive answer to the often posed question “You mean we have to wait until someone is hurt or killed before we can have a camera here?” (most usually asked in a tone of incredulity verging on anger). The Scottish Safety Camera Programme, as with the majority of Accident Improvement Programmes (AIPs), is empirically-based and reactive in nature. It requires a cluster of injury accidents and recorded evidence of high vehicle non-compliance before a core speed or red-light camera site can be established. Furthermore the current selection criteria fails to take into account the huge reductions in the number of personal injury collision occurring on Scotland’s roads over the last decade.

In the new era of Police Scotland, responsibility for road safety education has shifted entirely to the local authority arena. The policing focus is now very much one of upholding road traffic law through a target-driven approach to the detection of motoring offences. In my experience, the actual utilisation of road policing resources appears to be a largely subjective affair, with officers attending at locations either known to have high offending rates or in a community appeasement role. Unlike in the detection and prevention of traditional crime types, it seems there is little use of intelligence products when it comes to road collision reduction.

The aim of my research is to offer an alternative approach to these traditional ways of working; one that retains the validity of empiricism whilst being proactive in its implementation. I plan to do this with reference to the Risk Terrain Modeling (RTM) crime forecasting tool, developed by Joel Caplan and Leslie Kennedy at Rutgers Center on Public Security, Rutgers University, New Jersey. RTM utilises the power of modern geographical information systems (GIS) to amalgamate the multiple risk factors that have a bearing on a particular crime type into a single risk map that highlights the most vulnerable neighbourhoods. The strategic deployment of resources into those areas defined as high risk then has a mitigating influence, reducing the likely occurrence of the target crime type.

It is my belief that a similar approach can be taken to road accident prevention. By defining either a road type e.g. Rural ‘A’ Class, City Street or road user type, e.g. Young Driver, Leisure Rider, the key common causal factors can be identified. This knowledge is applied at a national level to identify the high risk sections of roads. Appropriate road safety interventions can then be properly targeted at these areas. The result: a proactive and preventative strategy that offers good value for money for the public purse.


Planned Activities : At present I see the research activities taking the following path:

• A review of my existing collision database to identify a suitable road type or road user type on which to base the initial RTM analysis. This study group will need to be broad enough to be statistically meaningful and representative of the chosen road type or road user type, without being too generalised or onerous to analyse.

• An in-depth analysis of the collision history of the study group to isolate common factors present in the occurrence of these crashes.

• Literature reviews of published work in the field of collision analysis to confirm factors identified in previous stage and ascertain further risk factors that should be considered in the risk terrain model.

• Data gathering and construction of initial risk terrain model, including testing model parameters for statistical reliability and layer weighting.

• Refinement of the model against same road/different data range, comparable road/same data range and comparable road/different data range sources.

I envisage the final outputs as being:

• A presentation of methodology and results in academic paper format and the submission of this for peer review.

• The creation of online Collision Risk Map based on the road type/road user type made available for general consumption and debate.

Based on feedback to the initial project I would see future development being the refinement of the model to include additional road types/road user types, creating a Collision Risk Map toolkit for those practitioners working in the field of AIP to utilise.

The Police Reform Programme in Scotland

David Stewart Taynuilt Associates Ltd

Personal profile of David Stewart…

• Partner Universities: Glasgow Caledonian University and University of Dundee

• Academic Supervisors: Prof Sandra Nutley and Prof Nicholas Fyfe

• Start Date: 1 January 2014

• Duration: 9 – 12 months


Research Context and Objectives:

The Police Reform Programme in Scotland has been acknowledged as the largest Public Sector Reform Programme in the UK, comprising the merger of 10 policing organisations into one single entity. This significant change was implemented in an extremely challenging timescale and, while the 1 April 2013 was the merger date and much was done in the run up to that event, work now continues to ensure that the benefits of this reform programme are achieved in the longer term. The objectives of this research will be two-fold;

• Police Reform Context
To examine the Police Reform Programme in Scotland in the context of other police reform programmes elsewhere in the UK, Europe and worldwide with a view to:

• comparing and contrasting different approaches to change management

• comparing and contrasting relationships between key stakeholders

• comparing and contrasting timelines, particularly key milestones such as senior appointments, governance structures, ‘Day1 operation’, ‘end states’ etc

• comparing and contrasting structure, identity and ownership of workstreams (eg local policing, ICT, criminal investigation etc)

• Broader Change Management Context
To examine the Police Reform Programme in Scotland from the perspective of broader change management theory in both public and private sector and to establish how the requirements of the reform were diagnosed, enacted and explained. This will involve an analysis of:

• Structure, business process and identity/culture change

• Leadership and change agency

• Stakeholder perspectives and power relationships

• Programme and project management

• Communication strategies

• Management of resistance.


Planned Activities :

Activities will include literature reviews in respect of both police-related journals and those from a broader change management perspective with the potential of undertaking structured/semi structured interviews with those involved in police change programmes elsewhere. Reference will be made to previous SIPR research papers relating to the National Police Reform Programme.

Use will be made of the EPIC (European Police Institutes Collaboration) network to access comparative data, perhaps via a questionnaire survey followed up by Skype interviews but also a potential visit to the Netherlands given the strong parallels in terms of the timing and nature of the reforms.

Outputs will include formal reports with the potential to support internal police purposes for Police Scotland, as well as potential academic journals with further potential content suitable for presentation at conferences comprising audiences from either policing or change management.

An asset based approach to community policing

Keith Jack Violence Reduction Unit, Police Scotland

• Partner Universities: Glasgow Caledonian University and RGUd

• Academic Supervisors: Dr Liz Frondigoun and Dr Rob Smith


Research Context and Objectives:

I propose to write up my practical experience of developing an asset based approach to community policing. This is based on my current role with the Violence Reduction Unit, where along with partners I have spent the last year working with residents and service providers in Hawkhill, Alloa. Traditional models of community tend to focus on what is wrong in a community and directing services to and at residents ( a defecits approach). Whilst this addresses the condition it often does little to work with people in addressing the causal factors.

An assets based approach looks to identify all the positives In a community, the “assets”. The main asset in any community is it’s residents, but assets can be anything which can be used in a positive way to develop a thriving healthy community. Through working in this people are encouraged and supported to get involved, as THE experts, developing meaningful respectful partnerships with service providers where their views and priorities are at the heart of decision making processes.

Working in this way has proven benefits to health and well being,reduced crime levels, increased perception of safety in the community, social connectedness and residents having a sense of control over their future, rather than being passive recipients of services.

I intend creating a concise record of my work and the challenges along the way. I envisage this will create a reference for other officers or community members who may be considering setting up an asset based approach in their community. As such I hope to include testimony from local residents and partners, which should create a comprehensive and useful document.


Planned Activities :

I spend the majority of my working week developing the approach and as such base myself within the heart of the community. The activity required to complete the fellowship will be drawn from my daily routine and will not require any further plan or resource. It will adopt an ethnographic/documentary methodological approach.

My objectives will be to:

• explain the background to the asset based approach, what it is, the theory behind its aims, the link to current government thinking around enabling communities and putting residents at the heart of community and decision making processes;

• conduct a literature search to highlight other asset based approaches currently under way;

• describe the practicalities of setting up an asset based approach;

• identify the support attributes needed to enable individuals to achieve their potential such as motivation and leadership;

• identify what the likely outcomes are.

The Impact of Assets-based Community ‘Listening Events’ in two Scottish Locations

Chief Inspector Tony Bone Police Scotland

• Partner University: University of the West of Scotland

• Academic Supervisor: Professor Ross Deuchar

• Position: Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice


Research Context and Objectives:

The Scottish Government’s new strategy for justice in Scotland highlights the need to promote information-sharing and partnership work and to empower local communities to prevent crime (Scottish Government, 2012). Taking account of the Christie (2011) report on the future delivery of public services, the Government strategy highlights the need for a ‘decisive shift towards prevention’ of crime. It also draws attention to the need for ‘greater integration of public services at local level driven by better partnership, collaboration and effective local delivery’ (Scottish Government, 2012: 13). Against this backdrop, the creation of the new single police service – Police Scotland – from 2013, ensures equal access to national and specialist services such as violence reduction teams under the force’s new Licensing and Violence Reduction Division (LVRD). The single force now takes a consistent approach to nominal offender management through tasking, enforcement, intervention and prevention, and this approach is particularly pertinent within the context of youth violence. Senior managers in Police Scotland empower Divisional Commanders to make decisions about how best to intervene on and prevent local issues related to crime and violence. One new strategy is the implementation of community ‘listening events’ (Durieet al., 2004), where the LVRD support and empower local residents in high-crime areas to use their own skills and talents, working alongside service providers, to make the changes that they wish to see in their area. In doing so, the aim is to create flourishing communities, where crime is minimized and local people promote a renewed pride in local assets.

The focus of the proposed SIPR Fellowship is to enable one senior member of LVDR, Chief Inspector Tony Bone, to engage in a small piece of research that will enable him to explore and analyze the impact of the assets-based community ‘listening events’ on reducing youth violence, fostering social capital and enhancing the motivation and morale of local patrol and community officers. In so doing, the research will provide added benefit to the ongoing work of Police Scotland in terms of providing a small evidence-base that could be used as the basis for the further implementation of the community events in other neighbourhoods. In addition, it will help to inform future knowledge exchange with senior officers at the Scottish Police Collegevia their participation within a Masters-level module focused on improving police practice in terms of leading and managing violence reduction strategies and fostering local community relations.

The specific objectives will be as follows:

• To explore the potential impact of ‘listening events’ in two specific communities – Ferguslie Park and Port Glasgow – in terms of the reduction of reported violent incidents among young people over a three month period.

• To explore the extent to and ways in which the events build bonding and bridging social capital among local residents, young people and local police officers.

• To examine the impact that the initiatives have on enhancing the motivation and morale of local patrol and community-based police officers in the targeted communities.


Planned Activities :

During the implementation of the ‘listening events’ in the two named communities, the applicant will set up focus groups with local participating residents, young people, police officers and service providers on three occasions – before, during and after the implementation of the series of events. During focus groups, interview questions will be designed to explore the impact of the sessions on building social capital – drawing upon the indicators outlined in previous research (Putnam, 2000; Leonard and Onyx, 2004; Deuchar, 2009). Local incidents of youth disorder and violence will be analyzed before and after the events, to identify any local impact, while additional follow-up interviews will be conducted with a small sample of local patrol and community-based officers in both communities as a means of exploring the impact of the initiative on their motivation and morale. Data will be analyzed iteratively throughout the duration of the Fellowship and under the guidance of Professor Deuchar. During the final weeks of the Fellowship, the candidate will write up the findings into an accessible report for Police Scotland. In the two months following the Fellowship period, Chief Inspector Bone will collaborate with Professor Deuchar on the writing of an academic article for the international peer-reviewed journal Policing and Society, as well as disseminating the insights from the research to senior officers during future delivery of the SCQF level 11 module Understanding and Preventing Youth Violence (coordinated by Deuchar) at the Scottish Police College in the winter of 2013/14.


Publications from the project:

The impact of assets-based community integration initiatives in Scottish and Danish locations. Annual Report for 2014, SIPR. See page 28.

Ross Deuchar, Thomas Friis Sogaard, Chris Holligan, Kate Miller, Anthony Bone & Lisa Borchardt (2018). Social capital in Scottish and Danish neighbourhoods: paradoxes of a police-community nexus at the front line. Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention, DOI: 10.1080/14043858.2018.1448157

Variations of culture in police organisations and their potential impact on amalgamation of police forces. A case study of the Scottish Police Service

Practitioner Fellows:

Superintendent Andrew Tatnell Central Scotland Police

Mr Garry Elliott Associate Tutor Scottish Police College; Associate Lecturer, OU Business School; Associate Tutor, NPIA; Research Associate Henley Business School, University of Reading

Research assistance provided by Andrew Woof (University of Dundee) and Wendy Alletson (Scottish Police College)

Academic Supervisor:

Professor Nicholas Fyfe, Dundee University – Director of Scottish Institute for Policing Research – Fellow Scottish Police College.

Fellowship Sponsor:

Chief Constable Justine Curran, Tayside Police – Chair of Vision & Values Workstream, National Police Reform Programme.


As part of the Scottish Police Reform Programme, Chief Constable Justine Curran has undertaken to lead on the “development of the culture and values which underpin the operation of the new service and to support the wider benefits of reform.” (OGC R5)

The importance of understanding those “aspects of current organizational culture within the existing 8 forces, SCDEA and SPSA which might enable or inhibit the successful transformation” from the existing forces and agencies into the new Police Service of Scotland, has been recognised by those leading the Reform Programme (OGC R5(2)).

The importance of culture in the performance of organisations has been recognised in previous research (Deal and Kennedy 1999). In particular the management of cultural differences has been seen as important in the success of amalgamations in the public and private sectors (Fulop et al 2002, Johnson and Scholes 2008, Miller 2000).

For example, a Harvard Business School study cited by Miller (2000) stated “without understanding the often hidden and implied values that drive decision making at every level, the chances are great that a merger or acquisition will quickly be awash in misunderstanding, confusion and conflict“. Additionally the 2005 amalgamation of the Inland Revenue and Customs & Excise into HMRC recognised that the difference of culture was seen as a serious constraint in the complete merging of the two organisations.

Given the widely held perception within the Scottish Police Service that there are differences in organisational culture between and within the existing Scottish police forces and agencies, and the apparent scarcity of research in Scotland in relation to police organisational culture, this research is an essential element in the development of the new Police Service of Scotland.

The study will not only identify those aspects of current organisational culture which might enable or hinder amalgamation, but also recommend appropriate actions. In order to be most effective, the work will focus on the cultural issues relating to the changes relevant to Day 1 of the new Service. Schein (2010 p.316) states “not all parts of a culture are relevant to any given issue the organisation may be facing; hence, attempting to study an entire culture in all of its facets is not only impractical but also usually inappropriate.”


To improve the understanding of key aspects (namely those integral to Day 1 of the new Police Service of Scotland) of the current organisational and occupational cultures within Scottish policing organisations with a view to facilitating the Police Reform Day 1 change programme.


Research Objectives:

• To identify any similarities and differences between cultures which exist within some areas of business which are currently distributed between the existing police forces and agencies comprising the Scottish Police Service and which will be merged with others to form new units or teams on day 1 of new Police Service of Scotland.

• To highlight those significant cultural factors which might enable or hinder the successful development of those elements on Day 1 of the new Police Service of Scotland.

• To consider whether the identified cultural differences and similarities require action to reinforce the planned change, and to consider whether action is required to change the basic paradigm (thereby requiring the development of a longer term major cultural change strategy)

• To examine areas of good practice in Northern European Countries in respect of how organisations, and police organisations in particular, managed the merger of previously separate organisations in a new whole in respect of organisational and occupational cultures. This will focus particularly on the recent merger of 26 police forces into one national Dutch Police Force.


Research Strategy:

From a research design perspective the strategy and methodology must be of sufficient rigor to withstand scrutiny, particularly from the Police Reform Strategy Group (which comprises existing Chief Constables) and the Vision and Values Steering Group. To that end the strategic approach will balance ‘social science’ and ‘business school’ approaches, highlighting the implications for managers responsible for implementing the Reform Programme and the impact of culture on organisational performance.

The research will take the form of a case study (Yin 2003) of aspects of Scottish policing organisations gaining insight from a broad range of knowledge sources in order to gain more understanding of the complexity involved in the organisational cultures identified.

There are three broad types of knowledge we will be utilising in order to achieve the purpose of this research, namely;

• Existing knowledge which is already publicly available i.e. reviewing relevant academic, business and policy literature including experience of other organisations managing the cultural issues of amalgamations.

• New knowledge acquired through field research involving small focus groups and a large survey of a range of staff from all eight Scottish Police Forces, the SCDEA, and SPSA who will be merging together into new teams and business areas prior to, or on, Day 1 of the new Service.

• Existing knowledge from a ‘Collaborative Group’ of police and research practitioners comprising this Practitioner Fellowship Group, the Vision & Values Steering Group and others from police organisations within the United Kingdom and abroad (focusing on PSNI, the Netherlands and Scandinavia).

Through the auspices of the Vision & Values Steering Group we will utilise the professional knowledge and experience Chief Officers, Staff Associations and key partners/stakeholders important to the success of the Day 1 Implementation Plan.

A number of underpinning assumptions have been made when designing the research strategy and associated methodology namely:

• That organisational culture is created, maintained and preserved by managerial, organisational and environmental factors. It can therefore be assessed by studying aspects of the organisation, including:

1. the views of individuals and groups through interview processes. Schein (2010) proposes that group interviews are a better method for rapidly assessing culture in terms of both validity and efficiency;

2. the communications, systems and structures of the organisation;

3. the context within which the organisation operates.

A cultural assessment is of little value unless it is tied to some organisational issue such as a new purpose, strategy, outcomes, performance or change agenda. In these circumstances, determining how the culture impacts the issues is not only useful but in most cases essential. Through this, the assessment of culture should be related to the organisation’s effectiveness, efficiency and performance and how these might be improved.

The assessment process should first identify cultural assumptions and then assess them in terms of whether they are a strength or a constraint on what the organisation is trying to do.


Literature Review Strategy:

The project will build on the definition of organisational culture of Schein (2010) broadly recognising that culture can be summed up as “the way we do things round here”. It will use the work of Chao et al. (1994) arguing that culture is created and affected by organisational and managerial factors, and examine the importance of culture in creating social order and co-coordinating behaviour identified in previous research (Deal and Kennedy, 1999; Mackintosh and Doherty 2007).

It will consider differences identified between more general organisational culture and the more specific and distinctive police ‘occupational culture’ (Reiner 1992, Chan 1996) and draw on the work of Loftus (2009) examining the seminal publications she identified (Banton (1964), Skolnick (1966), Westley (1970), Cain (1973), Rubinstein (1973), Reiner (1978), Punch (2007), Ericson (1982), Holdaway (1983), Smith & Grey (1985), Young (1991), Paoline (2003))

However, three factors may question the application of these studies to the Scottish Police Service:

• Loftus (2009) and others challenge the current relevance of the findings on police culture on the basis of their age and the recent changes in the service and society.

• Parker (2000), Martin (2002) and others also point to multiple cultures in organisations. Therefore basing the study on the culture of individual forces may be flawed.

• Bush and Glover (2003) identify that variations in styles of policing from one society to another are perfectly explicable in terms of the structures and traditions of those societies. As there are no known studies of police culture in Scotland, it is unknown to what extent national and other more local environmental factors may influence the culture in forces.

Therefore a more inductive approach is necessary to the research using ideas of organisational culture to understand the particular factors at work in Scottish policing organisations.

The study will also draw on the work of policing and similar organisations that have recently considered the influence of their culture or have experience of amalgamations. This will include:

• Review of the cultural audit approach used by PSNI since 2005 with focus on how it has enabled or inhibited change from RUC to PSNI and whether there is any direct correlation between any resultant changes to practices, policies or procedures which have directly resulted in improvements to performance.

• Review of examples of change programmes within the private sector which have used organisational culture as an enabling factor.

• Examination of the recent amalgamation of Scottish Army Regiments.

Field Research Strategy/Methodology:

The knowledge we are looking for is around police occupational/organisational culture and therefore “relativist” i.e. how do staff within those business areas of the existing eight police forces and two policing agencies which will need to change by Day 1 of the Police Service of Scotland interpret the culture which exists within their current teams? To deal with the complexity we need to look at things in more than one way to ‘triangulate’ the findings. So we will consider:


• Archival data

What is known about the force – size, structure, age, profile of staff, tenure of chief officers, performance, strategy, resources, and history – including stories and events and views of the community.
Textual analysis of published documents (Corporate reports, especially customer surveys, lay group reports, force website, force newspaper etc). What sort of language is used? What sort of images? What messages?

• Perception data
Use of focus groups and interviews which will be considered more below, and an on-line survey using the Organisational Culture Assessment Instrument (Quinn and Cameron 1999). This is shown at Appendix A.

• Observation data
Visits to public aspects of the organisations, seeing inside work areas (how they are laid out, pictures/posters etc on the walls etc), how staff behave towards each other re authority figures, interaction with customers, visitors etc.

The main focus of this research is to gain an understanding of people’s perceptions of the culture within their workplace. In particular it considers how that might help or hinder the amalgamation with teams from other force/agency areas of Scotland. We need to find of what’s inside their heads – what they have experienced and how they have understood and interpreted their experiences (Roshomon Effect).

Therefore, a social science approach is required – a more subjective, relativist approach through which a greater understanding can be reached as the basis on which to recommend actions by those making the structural changes for Day 1.

We also need to accept that we are dealing with the perceptions of people. However perception is what drives behaviour and therefore is the important factor in considering the influence of culture.

The complexity of this leads us to a more inductive approach, and a case study using both quantitative and qualitative data gathering allows an understanding of the complexity. The inductive approach develops theory and draws conclusions “from the bottom up” through the collection of data obtained largely through verbal reports on participants observations and experience and then reflecting on subjective engagement, abstracting meanings and organising them into different categories in a cyclical way as information is gained from each participant. It is assumed that providing the understanding is grounded, it will resonate with anyone sharing the culture of those under study. It will triangulate this understanding with a more statistically significant sample of staff through the use of a focused, objective, quantitative on-line questionnaire.

Finally, we will triangulate our results with those obtained from DCC Allen’s Engagement Groups which will have been held across the Scottish Police Service during the summer of 2012.


Focus Groups, One-to-One Interviews and Survey Instrument:

The study will use small focus groups (with 6 – 8 junior staff), one to one interviews (with more senior officers/police staff) and an on-line Survey Instrument focusing on some of those business areas which will be subject to change programmes ahead of Day 1 of the new Service. These are:

• The SCDEA which, it is understood, will form the bulk of the Specialist Crime Directorate

• Those existing Roads Policing Units which will be amalgamated to form the East Region within the new National Roads Policing structure

This will focus limited resources on these individual sub-cultures within existing forces and agencies which will be amongst the first to be amalgamated on or before Day 1. It will not provide a ‘cultural map’ for the Service (OGC R5(1)), which would take significantly more resources and time to complete than available time and resources allow. However, it will assess current perceptions of culture and views about important cultural factors in key areas of the new PSOS and will hopefully ‘prove’ not only the validity of the research strategy and methodology, but also the usefulness of the findings and recommendations in supporting key aspects of the National Police Reform Programme which might form the basis for a wider, longer term programme of study towards the development of a more comprehensive ‘cultural map’ as recommended by OGC Review Recommendation 5(1).

The process for the focus groups, interviews and the survey instrument will be pre-tested and piloted with officers at Tulliallan (or those who have recently attended courses there) to test for shared understanding and ease of use.

Once the questions for the focus groups, interviews and survey instrument have been adequately tested and any necessary changes made, an interview schedule and topic guide for use by focus group facilitators and/or interviewers will be developed. The facilitators and interviewers will be people who are suitably trained and experienced in these roles and from outwith the force or agency concerned.

The study will recognise the risks associated with focus groups and interviews such as hiding data if feeling defensive or exaggerating to impress or get cathartic relief recognised in other research (Frost, 2003; Goldman, 2008 cited in Schein (2010)). Steps to reduce this are considered in the description of the focus group process in Appendix B.


Ethical Issues

Participation will be voluntary. All participants will sign consent forms which clearly set out purpose and ethical considerations of the research such as anonymity and the storage and use of the data.


Collaborative Group:

As this study progresses it will be crucial that it is constantly fine tuned so that not only the needs of key stakeholders are met but also that their professional judgment and experience are utilised to both assist with interpretation of the emerging findings and also to advise and guide any changes to the approach and methodology which will be required so as increase the chances of not only achieving the desired outcomes but also that these outcomes are utilised as part of the National Police Reform Programme as required by OGC Recommendation 5(2).

The research team and the Collaborative Group play complimentary roles. In a systems approach to action research, tentative explanations are being formed as the story unfolds. These insights are tentative frames to articulate the elements of the system in order that the research approach may be understood and to consider interventions to change it as and when required. This is also relevant in respect of any changes to the external environment (political, financial etc) which might help or hinder this work as it progresses.

This ‘virtual’ Collaborative Group will comprise:

• The Police Reform Programme lead, Chief Constable Kevin Smith;

• The National Police Reform Strategy Group (which comprises Chief Officers and senior police staff from the existing forces and agencies which make up the Scottish Police Service);

• The Sponsor of this work (Chief Constable Justine Curran) in her capacity as Chair of the Vision & Values Steering Group;

• Members of the Vision & Values Steering Group, which includes Chief Constable Derek Penman, DDC Steve Allen, ACC Johnny Gwynne and representatives from Unison, ASPS, Scottish Police Federation, and the Senior Careers Development Service;

• Chief Inspectors Suzie Merties and Richie Adams who are leading on the other sub-strands, which, along with this SIPR Practioner Fellowship, form Strand 1 of the Values and Vision workstream within the National Police Reform Programme.



By 13 July 2012 – design of this Research Proposal for submission to Vision & Values Steering Group

15 July to mid August 2012 – Finalise Field Research design and logistical arrangements i.e. dates, places, composition etc of focus groups, 1:1 interviews and complete literature review with focus on comparison with Netherlands and Scandinavian Police Forces experiences in respect of culture on their reform programmes.

Mid August to mid September 2012 – undertake field research

Mid September to early November 2012 – Analysis of data from Field Research and Literature Review – formulate emerging findings and recommendations for action and sense check with Collaborative Group (principally Visions & Values Steering Group).

Mid November to early December 2012 – produce and submit final paper with recommendations to Vision & Values Steering Group.

April 2013 to 2016 – completion of ‘cultural map’ of the Police Service of Scotland (OGC R5(1)) with focus on how it is enabling or inhibiting progress to desired ‘end/future state’ and recommendations for action in respect of the on-going change programme (SIPR led PhD student?)


Outputs and benefits for the Service:

The outputs of the study are three-fold:

• An analysis of key ‘Day 1’ elements of current organizational cultures within the forces and agencies which currently comprise the Scottish Police Service.

• Identification of similarities on which to build identity and values for those functions which will be in place for ‘Day 1’ the new Police Service of Scotland.

• Identification of elements which might enable or inhibit successful transformation from those functions within the existing forces and agencies which comprise the Scottish Police Service which will be merged in to the new ‘Day 1’ functions of the Police Service of Scotland.

These findings will have the following implications and benefits for the Scottish Police Service:

• It will provide insights into some differences of culture between the forces which need to be taken into account in the management of the change, particularly in relation to leadership, communication and engagement.

• It will recommend improvements in practices that can be implemented prior to and following the implementation of the newly formed Police Service of Scotland.

• It will allow understanding of the factors associated with the different cultures focusing management activity on building on areas of similarity and addressing only those areas of difference which are likely to significantly hinder the Reform process.

• It will give guidance about HR and training needs in the new PSOS.

• It will give a basis to examine changes in culture over time in the PSOS.

• The results will give a basis to longer term study to develop fully the cultural map of the Police Service of Scotland.



Cameron and Quinn (1999), Diagnosing and changing organisational culture: Based on the competing values framework. Addison-Wesley

Chan (1996), Changing Police Culture; Policing in a Multicultural Society

Chao G.T. et al (1994), Organisational Socialisation: its content and consequences. Journal of Applied Psychology, 79, 730-743.

Deal and Kennedy (1999), The New Corporate Cultures. Perseus Books

Fulop, Protopsaltis, Hutchings, King, Allen, Normand and Walters (2002), Process and impact of mergers of NHS trusts: multi-centre case-study and management cost analysis, British Medical Journal, 325, 246-9

Hofstede (2000), Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in work related values. Sage Publications

Johnson, Scholes and Whittington (2008), Exploring Corporate Strategy. Prentice-Hall

Loftus (2009), Police Culture in a Changing World

Mackintosh and Doherty (2007)

Martin ( 2002 ), Organisational Culture. Mapping the Terrain. London Sage

OGC Gateway Review of Scottish Police Reform Programme May 2012

Parker (2000), Organisational Culture and Identity: Unity and Division at Work

Schein (2010), “Organisational Culture & Leadership (4th Edition)

Senge (1990), The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of Learning Organisation. Doubleday.

Yin (2003), Case Study Research – Design and Methods (3rd Edition)


Appendix A: Organisational Culture Assessment Instrument (Quinn and Cameron 1999)

Appendix B: Focus Group Process (From Schein (2000) Chapter 18 – Culture assessment as part of a managed organisational change)

The effectiveness of police negotiator training

Chief Inspector Andy Brown Deputy Head of Leadership & Professional Development Scottish, Police College


• Systematic literature review on the effectiveness of police negotiator training and their operational deployment.

• Research, analyse and evaluate the perceived effectiveness of the national Police Hostage/Crisis Negotiator Training at the Scottish Police College.

• Research, analyse and evaluate the perceived effects of operational deployment of trained Police Negotiators to incidents of attempted suicide/self harm with the subjects of such action.


Planned Activities:

• In relation to objective one:

• Systematic literature review of on police negotiator training.

• In relation to objective two:

    • Liaise with Training & Educational Standards Division of the Scottish Police College to collate completed evaluations of the national Hostage/Crisis Negotiator course.
    • Through a semi-structured questionnaire, interview operational Police Negotiators to evaluate the benefits of the training as they impact upon their operational duties.

In relation to objective three:

      • Describe the recent “epidemiology” of critical incidents where Police Negotiators have been deployed to attempted suicide/self harm incidents over the period 2005 to 2008 inclusive (315 incidents).
      • Establish links with Scottish Executive Choose Life, the national strategy and action plan to prevent suicide in Scotland(December 2002), specifically “Responding to Immediate Crisis” defined as ” providing support and services to people at risk and people in crisis, to provide an immediate crisis response and to help reduce the severity of any immediate problem” and “Knowing What Works”, defined as “improving the quality, collection and availability of information on issues relating to suicide and suicidal behaviour and on effective interventions to ensure the better design and implementation of responses and services and use of resources”.
      • Through a semi – structured interview with the subjects of attempted suicide/self harm evaluate the perceived effect of deploying Police Negotiators.
      • Evaluate the perceived effectiveness of the operational deployment of Police Negotiators to incidents of attempted suicide/self harm and determine the critical factors which influence outcome.

Key Outputs:

  • Objective one – literature review to establish what is already known about the “epidemiology” of such incidents, their features and outcome, etc.
  • Objective two – complete evaluation of national Hostage/Crisis Negotiator training to Kirkpatrick Level 4 to give an evidence base for the current training at the Scottish Police College. Results will be formally reported to the ACPOS Negotiator Sub Group and to the current training provided at the Scottish Police College.
  • Objective three – provide a formal report to the ACPOS Business Area of Operational Policing and Personnel & Training and to the Scottish Executive “Choose Life” – SIREN (Suicide Information Research and Evidence Network) and to Lord Alderdice’s report on suicide for the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
  • Presentations at relevant professional meetings and a submission to a peer – reviewed journal.

Chief Inspector Andy Brown was awarded a Fulbright Police Research Fellowship in 2011, and spent five and a half months from November 2011 to April 2012 conducting research and lecturing in the United States with the FBI, New York Police Department and John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York. He has shared his Fulbright experience in a ‘blog’, which makes fascinating reading.

No Cold Calling Zones

Brian Smith Brian Smith, Angus Council Trading Standards


Doorstep crime is an increasingly prevalent issue within neighbourhoods around the UK (Doorstoppers, 2009). There were 12,612 cases of distraction theft in 2005, but crimes committed by cold callers are hard to quantify because 9 out of 10 go unreported due to the intimidation and embarrassment associated with being the victim of a doorstep fraud (Croall, 2009).

Angus trading standards and the police introduced no cold calling zones (henceforth NCCZs) in 2007 as a way of combating increasing numbers of cold callers. These zones aim to give power to the residents that live within them to say ‘no’ to cold callers, police their communities and report suspicious persons. However, the introduction of NCCZs has also raised questions about the changes to rural policing, perceptions of vulnerability, governance of crime and the broader community safety agenda – particularly because NCCZs in Angus were introduced using the existing neighbourhood watch framework. Using a qualitative methodology, primarily focus groups and questionnaires, this project investigated the impact and implications of NCCZs on two communities in Angus.

Key Findings of the Research:

• NCCZs are spatially ambiguous, with different agencies and communities constructing ‘cold calling’ in different ways. This means that the agencies and communities involved in enforcing NCCZs have different expectations and standards in relation to who should or should not cold call

• The spatially ambiguous nature of NCCZs is particularly apparent in relation to charities calling door-to-door, with residents split on whether they should or should not be allowed to cold call. The police and trading standards also provided different opinions on whether charities should cold call or not

• NCCZs have been successful at deterring cold callers

• NCCZs appear to reduce the vulnerability experienced by the residents, yet by increasing their awareness of the serious nature of some cold calling, the police and trading standards inadvertently increase resident’s fear of crime

• NCCZs did appear to increase the empowerment felt by those living within them

• NCCZs helped increase the multiagency interaction between the police, trading standards and other allied health professionals

• Many legitimate doorstep sellers believe NCCZs deter legitimate business



• In addition to thinking about different ways of communicating with residents of NCCZs, trading standards have revisited all neighbourhood watch executives to inform them of the position on charities cold calling

• In an attempt to reduce fear of crime trading standards and community police officers have spoken to all neighbourhood watch executives in order to emphasise the relative safety of Angus

• This research has highlighted the need to consider other ways of introducing NCCZs into neighbourhoods which do not have a neighbourhood watch, as these are the neighbourhoods which are often most vulnerable to cold calling

• SIPR has provided an opportunity to facilitate knowledge transfer between Dundee University, Angus trading standards, Tayside police and Angus neighbourhood watches. SIPR and Dundee University benefited from the opportunity to apply a rigorous academic process of investigation to a policy relevant situation

• Angus trading standards benefited from having academically rigorous research applied to their project, research which otherwise would not have occurred because of a lack of knowledge, resources and time. Although a statistical analysis of questionnaire responses had been undertaken as part of the evaluation process by trading standards it was beyond their ability to undertake an evaluation using qualitative research techniques.

• The results being independently generated added integrity and authority to the evidence.

• This collaborative approach has therefore been able to influence the development of policy and practice within this developing area of community safety.



Research Summary: Policing vulnerability? The impacts and implications of no cold calling zones in angus Andrew Wooff, University of Dundee & Brian Smith, Senior Trading Standards Officer, Angus Council [Entered, February 2011]

Police-protestor liaison

Inspector Craig Menzies Grampian Police

Inspector Craig Menzies has been a trained Police Negotiator since 1999 and is established as an experienced practitioner and national trainer in the field of hostage/crisis negotiation, both at the Scottish Police College and the Metropolitan Police. He is a national instructor in kidnap and extortion management for negotiators, and has also undertaken specialist training in relation to International Hostage taking incidents. He has recently been awarded a Masters degree by the University of Leicester which included a dissertation evaluating crisis management by police negotiators in Scotland.



• Review the literature on liaison by police officers with protest groups and relevant operational deployments

• Examine the history and development of police protester liaison, and research, analyse and evaluate current international operational and training models, and specific operations where it has been utilised, and

• Research, analyse and evaluate the perceived effects of operational deployment of trained Police Negotiators to incidents of attempted suicide/self harm with the subjects of such action.

• Evaluate the lessons learned form international experience in this field and highlight the opportunities for Scottish policing

Planned Activities:

  • In relation to objective one:
    • literature review of police liaison with protester groups.
  • In relation to objective two:
    • develop and liaise with an international network of academics and practitioners [police and non police] with an interest in police operations, and
    • compile a “directory” of operational incidents highlighting good practice and lessons learned.
  • In relation to objective three:
    • evaluate a wide range of international experience to ensure knowledge transfer; encourage cross-organisational isomorphism, and identify opportunities available to Scottish policing for future training and deployment.

Key Outputs:

• The provision of a formal report to the SIPR and the ACPOS Business Area of Operational Policing and Personnel & Training.

• Presentations at professional meetings.

• A submission to a peer – reviewed journal.

Missing Person Behaviour: Implications for Police Risk Assessment and Response

Dr Penny Woolnough Grampian Police

Personal profile of Penny Woolnough…


Over the past few years, Dr Woolnough has been heavily involved with the conduct of research into the behaviour of missing persons.

Findings from initial ‘behavioural profiling’ research, based on analysis of cases from around the UK, was published as a guide for operational police officers by Grampian Police in 2007. This has widely become ‘the’ invaluable aid to missing person risk assessment and response by police forces and partner agencies around the UK. Grampian Police has received a number of awards for the work and overwhelming feedback from a wide range of practitioners reinforces that by understanding more about the behaviour of missing people we can better tailor police risk assessment and response.


Planned Activities:

Building on this initial work, current research includes a SIPR Small Research Grant funded study concerning an analysis of missing person cancellation/closure-interview forms and an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded study: Geographies of missing people .

While the findings of the initial research have been embedded into UK police training and practice, they have yet to be shared with the wider international policing and academic community. Consequently, this practitioner fellowship will support wider knowledge exchange beyond the UK Police Service, facilitating the development of national and international links with other researchers, policy makers and practitioners involved in missing persons and related social issues.



If you have any questions or would like more information concerning this Fellowship, or any of the research mentioned above, please contact Dr Woolnough.

Fellowship Practitioner Detective Chief Inspector Brian Johnston (Central Scotland Police)

Fellowship Sponsor Chief Superintendent Allan Moffat (Central Scotland Police)

Academic Researcher Professor Michele Burman (Glasgow University)e

Personal profile of Brian Johnston…


The Central Scotland Police Strategic Assessment 2011-2015, clearly indicates that Public Protection as a key priority for the force. Tackling Domestic Abuse is one of those Public Protection priorities. Analysis of current domestic abuse working practices indicates that there is a gap in provision in respect of how repeat offenders are managed in the community and how early and effective methods of practice can be used as an alternative to prosecution.

Terms of Reference:

To examine areas of good practice in Northern European Countries in respect of the police and multi agency response to Domestic Abuse. In particular the management of repeat offenders and multi agency early intervention schemes that are in existence as an alternative to prosecution (i.e. male intervention schemes).

The outcome of the research is to recommend improvements in policing and multi agency practices that can be implemented in Scotland.

Research Scope:

The following areas are to be considered within the scope of the research-

• Northern European countries (in particular Scandinavia) and the Policing models and practices in respect of tackling Domestic Abuse, early intervention practices that exist, management of repeat offenders and the interface between the police and multi agency partners i.e. healthcare/social services/court services.

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