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The Keele Policing Academic Collaboration (KPAC) brings together one of the UK’s most significant academic policing research collaborations focused on partnerships between academics within Keele University and regional, national and international policing partners.
Its primary purpose is to generate public value on issues related to policing, community safety and justice by providing an effective platform for the co-creation, sharing and application of knowledge.
Our core collaborators will be local and regional policing partners and stakeholders within the communities they police. But KPAC’s influence will extend well beyond this through the global significance of its research and its broad ranging national and international networks.
Knowledge co-production is central to KPAC’s mission - the idea of academics, policing partners and stakeholders working together to shape priorities and activities - combining practical expertise, academic knowledge and stakeholder perspectives across a broad range of issues to address the full range of challenges faced by modern policing.
Reimagined 21st Century Policing
In her maiden speech as Chair of the UK’s National Police Chief’s Council, Sara Thornton addressed the implications of the profound and rapid changes in the policing environment, suggesting that established organisational arrangements are no longer fit for purpose given the need to address crime patterns transformed by globalisation, demographic change and technological development.
With a projected loss of 70,000 Policing personnel over a 10-year period, she concluded that a reimagining of the whole policing system was required rather than incremental reform, encompassing issues from command structures, reward mechanisms, to multi-agency delivery arrangements and the very notions of public value in policing. These strategic concerns, echoed by many Policing leaders and commentators, connect directly with KPAC’s broader areas of expertise in policing related issues, where the University is already producing internationally excellent and world-leading research and demonstrating excellence in teaching and continuous professional development. KPAC will enable our partners to mobilise and mould this capacity in order to improve understanding of crime and policing issues and shape public debate and deliberation.
KPAC will encourage innovative research-informed solutions. Through its capacity to enhance training and education it will empower research led approaches to policy and practice. The collaboration will assist police leaders to bring about effective organisational change and improve engagement with different and broad ranging communities. In these ways KPAC is built around a vision of public purpose and benefit.
KPAC will initially provide a safe environment for policing leaders and other stakeholders to fully consider areas of concern, offering them critical friends and the space to think analytically and objectively about their core missions. As the Collaboration develops it will build capacity through drawing together partners to offer new and unique forms of professional development aimed at current and future leaders, supporting them in enhancing their strategic leadership skills and empowering effective operational practice, with a focus on the delivery of public value in a complex and changing world.
Better use of evidence
KPAC will also create the possibility for evidence-based policing by building an empirical foundation for effective operational practice. Making better use of research in policing is a key aspect of KPAC’s mission and by working together we will increase capacity for building world class research and data analysis.
KPAC provides an environment for the co-production of new research in areas identified as core priorities by our partners where we can work directly with them to mobilise inter-disciplinary expertise and test and evaluate the effectiveness of policing interventions. Our approach will also enable the deployment of leading edge research to offer a fuller understanding of communities, the impact of the justice system, offending cultures and the experiences of victims. KPAC is not confined to the behavioural and social sciences but will also support technological innovation, for example in forensics, based on KPAC's wide-ranging research in the physical and natural sciences
Developing the collaboration
When Universities and external partners work together well, the results are extraordinary. We believe we have the ingredients at Keele for an internationally significant policing collaboration, capable of achieving public value and benefits for all partners. KPAC is the vehicle for constructing this globally relevant value in the North West Midlands of the UK and we welcome the views and comments of other stakeholders to help to shape KPAC’s focus and thematic priorities. Policing partners and other stakeholders interested in joining KPAC will be invited to review a draft Memorandum of Understanding setting out the University’s commitment to its development in more detail.
For further information please contact Andrea Boardman, School of Psychology, Dorothy Hodgkin Building, Keele University, Keele, Staffordshire. ST5 5BG.
+44 (0)1782 733363 / firstname.lastname@example.org.