David joined the University of Portsmouth as a lecturer in the PEQF team in 2021. He was previously a police officer for 30 years, serving with Hampshire Constabulary and ACPO(TAM).

David studied Human Geography at Loughborough University before joining Hampshire Constabulary in 1989. He experienced periods as a Detective, Response Sergeant, Control Room Sergeant, Custody Sergeant, Neighbourhood Sergeant and Neighbourhood Inspector. His use of community engagement and crime prevention tactics led to awards including nominations for international problem-oriented policing awards.

David was seconded to the National Prevent Delivery Unit for 5 years, leading on the prevention of terrorism in schools, colleges and universities. He wrote national guidance and developed educational resources as well as assisting international law enforcement after terrorism incidents. His work in the aftermath of Fuselier Lee Rigby’s murder led to the Prevent Duty within the Counter Terrorism & Security Act (2015).

As Hampshire Constabulary Prevent lead, David worked on a series of terrorism incidents, utilising engagement and problem-solving tactics to prevent radicalisation.

On retirement from the police, David studied for a Masters in Criminal Psychology, focusing on the radicalisation of those drawn towards far-right terrorism. He spent a year as a Home Office Counter-Extremism Coordinator, creating resources relating to hate crime, extremism and knife crime before becoming a Lecturer in Policing.

David is responsible for PEQF modules on:

  • Criminology;
  • Communities, Intelligence & Information;
  • Community Policing and;
  • Ethics in Policing.

His research interests include counter-terrorism especially far-right radicalisation and Problem-Based Learning.


Knowles, D. J. (2007). The Bridge Project. Arizona State University Herman Goldstein Awards 2007.

Knowles, D. J. (2009; 2013). Prevent, Police & Schools. National Prevent Delivery Unit, ACPO(TAM)

Knowles, D. J. (2012). Prevent, Police & Colleges. National Prevent Delivery Unit, ACPO(TAM).

Knowles, D. J. (2012). Prevent, Police & Universities. National Prevent Delivery Unit, ACPO(TAM).

Knowles, D. J. (2012). Operation Bachelor & Operation Graduate: Interactive resources to prevent radicalisation on university campuses. National Prevent Delivery Unit, ACPO(TAM).

Kirwan, K. & Knowles, D. J. (2013). Solitaire: An interactive resource to Prevent legitimately owned firearms being used by terrorists. National Prevent Delivery Unit, ACPO(TAM).

Knowles, D. J. (2020). Identity in Britain and the Radicalisation of the Violent Right. International Network for Hate Studies.

Knowles, D. J. (2023, July, 20). Tell me, teach me and involve me: Should police education be 'more policey'? Policing Insight. 

Knowles, D. J. (2023, September, 12). Your Choice Matters: Police engagement in schools to reduce vulnerability to knife crime and hate crime. Policing Insight.


Assisted in the publication of:

Universities UK. (2011). Freedom of speech on campus: rights and responsibilities in UK universities.

Universities UK. (2012). Oversight of security-sensitive research material in UK universities: guidance.

The Charity Commission. (2013, September, 3). Protecting charities from harm: compliance toolkit.

Cabinet Office. (2013). Tackling extremism in the UK. Report from the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Tackling Radicalisation and Extremism.

David's Linked-In Profile: