Explore our multi-disciplinary research in policing
Working with local, national and international police organisations
The Policing research group brings together a diverse body of researchers from different disciplines in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, including postgraduate students, former practitioners and academic staff.
We work in close collaboration with external partners and stakeholders like local, national and international police organisations. Through our programme of research-based activities, the central concerns of the group are with the development of new research opportunities, the sharing of research findings and the support of early-in-career academics.
The broad themes of our research include:
- policing cultures, trust and confidence in policing
- policing and diversity
- police wellbeing and mental health
- policing hate crime
- the sociology of the police
- organisational justice
- comparative policing
Policing has a huge influence over ordinary citizens’ lives, both materially and symbolically, and research on and with the police is vitally important. The police rely upon consent and co-operation to maintain law and order and understanding why we comply with the law is tied up in our evaluation of police legitimacy.
Our work therefore focuses on policing in a variety of forms. We consider the multiple conceptions of trust, identity and justice within a policing context and identify, for example, the ways in which police training, police education and police investigations can impact those issues.
Our research led to the transformation of policy and practice around a vital area of police training — first for Hampshire Constabulary and subsequently in new national College of Policing standards — implemented for all new police recruits in England and Wales.
Tutoring is a long-established and fundamental part of police training, in which new recruits enter frontline practice under the guidance of an experienced colleague. It can have a profound influence on their development as police officers. Our research into the culture of tutoring has changed both local and national approaches to the training and development of new police recruits and tutor-constables. This impact has extended internationally to the development of new standards for national police tutoring across five Nordic countries.
We are currently evaluating a community policing initiative which brings together representatives from seldom-heard communities to identify recommendations for improving trust, confidence and community-representation within police governance structures.
We’re also involved in research which explores student police officer experiences of inclusion in the workplace and how this reflects classroom-based inputs about diversity and inclusion. We’ve worked with the College of Policing to develop a group mentoring model on equality and diversity in relation to organisational policing cultures.
Partnerships and collaborations
- We work with the Police Federation of England and Wales to research voluntary resignations in policing.
- In partnership with Hampshire Constabulary we research police wellbeing, police tutoring, policing the pandemic and policing and diversity.
- We research student officer experiences of diversity and inclusion in collaboration with Middlesex University and Canterbury Christ Church University.
Voluntary resignations from the police service: the impact of organisational and occupational stressors on organisational commitment
Charman, S., Bennett, S. (2021) "Voluntary resignations from the police service: the impact of organisational and occupational stressors on organisational commitment", Policing and Society
Charman, S., Newiss, G., Smith, P., Inkpen, R., Ilett, C., Ghaemmaghami, A. R., Bennett, S. (2022) "‘Giving the right service to different people’: revisiting police legitimacy in the Covid-19 era", Policing and Society
“Othering” by consent? Public attitudes to Covid-19 restrictions and the role of the police in managing compliance in England
Inkpen, R., Charman, S., Ghaemmaghami, A. R., Smith, P., Newiss, G., Bennett, S., Ilett, C. (2022) "“Othering” by consent? Public attitudes to Covid-19 restrictions and the role of the police in managing compliance in England", The Sociological Quarterly
Newiss, G., Charman, S., Ilett, C., Bennett, S., Ghaemmaghami, A. R., Smith, P., Inkpen, R. (2021) "Taking the strain? Police wellbeing in the Covid-19 era", The Police Journal
Responding to the public during a pandemic: perceptions of ‘satisfactory’ and ‘unsatisfactory’ policing
Ghaemmaghami, A. R., Inkpen, R., Charman, S., Ilett, C., Bennett, S., Smith, P., Newiss, G. (2021) "Responding to the public during a pandemic: perceptions of ‘satisfactory’ and ‘unsatisfactory’ policing", Policing
Accessing justice: the impact of discretion, ‘deservedness’ and distributive justice on the equitable allocation of policing resources
Charman, S., Williams, E. (2021) "Accessing justice: the impact of discretion, ‘deservedness’ and distributive justice on the equitable allocation of policing resources", Criminology & Criminal Justice
Making sense of policing identities: the ‘deserving’ and the ‘undeserving’ in policing accounts of victimisation
Charman, S. (2020) "Making sense of policing identities: the ‘deserving’ and the ‘undeserving’ in policing accounts of victimisation", Policing and Society
"Are you crewed up with that bird from the uni?" The complexities of conducting ethnographic research in policing
Cox, C. E. (2020) ""Are you crewed up with that bird from the uni?" The complexities of conducting ethnographic research in policing", Journal of Organizational Ethnography
Stressors or facilitators? Exploring the factors that impact police officers' abilities to respond to disablist hate crime
Tyson, J. (2022) "Stressors or facilitators? Exploring the factors that impact police officers' abilities to respond to disablist hate crime", Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management
Tyson, J. (2020) "Disablist hate crime: a scar on the conscience of the criminal justice system?", Victimology: Research, Policy and Activism
- Senior police leadership — the unchanging culture?
- The culture of inclusion/exclusion: A critical examination of voluntary resignations from the police.
- Competencies of effective police leaders to meet the challenges of policing in 2040.
- An evaluation of apparent non-crime related activity carried out by the Police in England and Wales: the effects on public confidence and policing by consent.
- Influencing effects of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) practice on Police Officers' work performance: an empirical enquiry into potential side-effects.
- Police recruits: motivations, aspirations and expectations.
- The progress of professionalisation and evidence based practice within UK policing.
- Financial Investigations in Policing.
- Police Reform in an International Context.