News - April 2017

Keele University joins forces with police on new research centre

Keele University has officially launched its new interdisciplinary research centre designed to promote research collaboration between academics and policing and community safety partners to help tackle the challenges facing Britain’s police forces.

The new centre, called the Keele Policing Academic Collaboration (KPAC), establishes a new platform to bring academics and regional police forces together to help promote and communicate world-class research but also provide a stage to share and apply this knowledge.

Keele University’s Professor Clifford Stott, Co-Director of KPAC, said: “There are some very powerful challenges we have to face in society and it is important that our research at Keele helps address these in meaningful ways.

“KPAC is a new initiative to help generate partnerships between University based researchers, the ‘blue light’ services or others such as the local authorities and community based organisations. Through these partnerships we hope to generate research based solutions that will make really meaningful contributions to the safety and security of our communities.”

KPAC already brings together one of the UK’s most significant academic policing research collaborations and involves formal collaboration with Staffordshire and West Midlands Police, Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and organisations within the Local Authority.

Keele University’s Dr Tony Kearon, Co-Director of KPAC, said: “Keele has a long tradition of research and teaching excellence in areas like Criminology, Law, Forensics and Psychology. KPAC is building on that tradition and those strengths to develop genuine collaboration with the Police and other partners, to generate real world research that makes a positive difference to communities across Staffordshire and beyond. We are all really excited about this partnership.”

The KPAC launch event was attended by a range of local, regional and national organisations involved in policing.

The event was addressed by Glynn Dixon, the Chief Executive of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire; Temp. Assistant Chief Constable Alex Murray, of West Midlands Police; Assistant Chief Constable Mark Roberts of South Yorkshire Police, who is also the National Police Chief’s Council Lead for the policing of football and Superintendent David Hill, Programme Director of the East Midlands Police Academic Collaboration.

Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner CEO, Glynn Dixon, spoke of the wider changes in the police service and expressed how important the collaboration is for the future of policing.

Speaking at the event, he said: “Policing is going through a period of major change that will result in a service that looks and feels very different to the one we know today.

“We must build collaborations that help us to see the world of policing through different lenses and avoid inward-looking and insular approaches.

“While there are several policing and academic collaborations in the UK it is important that we develop capacity to address issues relevant to our communities and to the wider region. Keele University is an organisation that is nationally excellent, already producing world-class research and has expertise in policing and community safety.

Professor Trevor McMillan, Keele University Vice Chancellor, and Professor David Amigoni, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, also spoke at the launch event about Keele’s commitment to KPAC as a key aspect of the University’s developing strategic agenda.

The centre will initially focus on issues including the policing of crowds, adult and child safeguarding, forensic science, community safety and cohesion, procedural justice, organisational change and leadership.

For more information visit the Keele University KPAC website.

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