New research aims to improve collaboration between police and local services

A new project led by Keele University academics aims to transform the way the police and other agencies work together.

Keele researchers Dr Tony Kearon and Honorary Professors John Coxhead and Maggie Atkinson, will be carrying out the project to identify the obstacles which might obstruct professionals from different agencies, including councils and social services, from working effectively together.

The project is being carried out as part of the East Midlands Policing Academic Collaboration, and aims to overcome the issues of flawed working practices which are typically caused by practitioners being educated and trained separately.

Previous research has reported that the lack of effective collaboration between agencies can have tragic consequences. This has been further compounded by recent cuts to services which mean many organisational functions have reverted to their core legal minimum.

The project will adopt the concept of ‘koinagogy’, a term coined by the researchers to describe an approach to collaboration which aims to empower people who work together to pursue a common goal, focused on outcomes. It also encourages employees to work as a team and seek a collective approach.

Professor Coxhead said: "This new action research will take a grounded approach by working with practitioners to enable agile and situation-empowered group decision making. We're building on established research that has in the past focused on the individual professional practitioner, and applying it to interprofessional teams.

“This new application helps to fill a current gap in being able to deliver better public outcomes, and offers a fresh aspiration for applied professional interdisciplinarity in critical areas such as safeguarding, vulnerability and exploitation.”

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