University of Derby institute seeks to sharpen police practice worldwide

International Policing and Justice Institute integrates practical police training into an academic context

January 14, 2016
Policeman speaking to motorcyclist, Malacca, Malaysia
Source: Alamy
By the book: the training of Malaysia’s police will be accredited by Derby

There has been a growing drive in the UK in recent years to increase training and education for police officers.

In 2013, a report from the Independent Police Commission recommended professionalising the role by calling for officers to register for chartered status, and the year before that the College of Policing was established to deliver a number of training and development programmes.

A new institute at the University of Derby seeks to further advance the professionalisation of the sector, within the UK and abroad, as well as to undertake research to aid the development of law and policy.

The International Policing and Justice Institute, which officially launched in November, provides academic programmes for those working in the policing, security and justice sectors, offers bespoke consultancy services and supports more than 20 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in leadership, general policing and investigation.

It is located in One Friar Gate Square, which has been appropriately nicknamed the “Copper Box” because of the distinctive copper-plating on the exteriorsays Kevin Bampton, the institute’s director. The building houses the university’s College of Law, Humanities and Social Sciences, but the institute also draws on expertise from scholars in forensics, computing, engineering, architecture and business.

Academics in the university’s law and criminology departments “have been heavily involved with the professionalisation agenda – moving the police from a security-based organisation that is ‘command and control’ to [an organisation of] people who are actively managing the relationships with the public”, Professor Bampton said.

The institute has established partnerships with international police forces that want to integrate practical training of recruits into an academic framework. One such partner is Royal Malaysia Police – which marks the first time that a UK university has become the awarding body for an entire country’s police force. It means that every police officer in Malaysia will have their training accredited by the University of Derby.

Derby is also working with the Police College of Qatar, which opened in March 2015. Professor Bampton said that the country is looking to alter its traditional security-focused approach to policing ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which it will host. Meanwhile, about 50 middle-ranking police officers from the United Arab Emirates have already graduated from Derby’s MSc criminal investigation programme.

Back at home, the institute is working with the Gangmasters Licensing Authority to establish an international anti-slavery academy, which will offer a range of courses to employers on identifying the signs of exploitation and human trafficking.

The outward-looking agenda notwithstanding, Professor Bampton said that he is keen to ensure that the institute has a close relationship with students and academics in the university and that it is not seen as a “spin-off organisation”. Undergraduate and postgraduate students on one of Derby’s policing or criminology courses will be taught by the same academics who are engaged with these national and international partnerships, he said. Furthermore, last year undergraduates visited the infamous former federal penitentiary on Alcatraz Island in California and worked with the Los Angeles Police Department to learn about its criminal justice and policing system, thanks to the institute’s international outreach.

“A lot of our students, through the auspices of their institute, are getting the opportunity to get hands-on experience in terms of the intellectual part of policing – analysis, evaluation and evidence-based policing – in the UK,” Professor Bampton said. “Our aspiration is that in the future we’ll be able to have our students and staff engaged even more overseas.”

He added that the institute’s experience and expertise abroad will inform the content of its degrees.

“More of our postgraduates are international students than home students, so what we do throughout the world feeds directly into their classroom experience. And our relationship with other organisations means that we have detailed case studies that we can share,” he said.

There is also a benefit for academics who are seeking to demonstrate their international impact, he argued. “When academics are coming up with new ideas of how to improve the quality of policing, we have access to quite literally thousands of officers.”

But he wants to make one thing clear: the institute will not “actively seek research projects that other people think are important”.

“We set our own research agenda on the back of the issues we consider to be of high priority,” he said.

“That’s quite an interesting model in some respects because most university institutes tend to have the view that they’ll follow the investment. But often the challenges in terms of international policing are in the areas where there isn’t a huge amount of upfront investment, so you have to think creatively.”

In numbers

6,800 police officers were pursuing awards at Derby in 2014-15

Campus news

University of Edinburgh
The discovery of how piebald animals get their patches in the womb could shed light on medical conditions in humans. Researchers from the University of Edinburgh and the University of Bath learned that the two-tone appearance found in animals such as some cats and horses was caused by the random movement of pigment cells during early embryo development. The same model could be used to follow other types of cell in the womb, such as those that cause holes in the heart in humans.

Cardiff University
Cardiff University has helped to organise an intensive mathematics course for trainee scientists in Namibia. Most science degree students at the University of Namibia (Unam) must pass a maths test in the first year, but many of them have had little previous instruction and, as a consequence, fail the exam and then drop out. Two academics and two postgraduates were due to travel to Unam on 11 January to run the two-week summer school for new students.

University of Bedfordshire
A media academic has received an international film award. Agnieszka Piotrowska, a documentary film-maker and course leader for the University of Bedfordshire’s MA in creative digital film production, claimed the best screenplay honour for Lovers in Time or How We Didn’t Get Arrested in Harare! at the fourth Mumbai Shorts International Film Festival. Dr Piotrowska wrote and directed the documentary, which was co-produced with Zimbabwean film-maker Joe Njagu.

University of Nottingham
Viruses that can seek out and destroy in the gut bacteria that can cause food poisoning are being investigated by researchers thanks to a $100,000 (£68,000) grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The work, which is led by academics at the University of Nottingham, could offer the potential for treating and preventing intestinal illnesses in children in developing countries, including those caused by Salmonella and E. coli. It is hoped that the viruses could provide a viable alternative to antibiotics. The research is in partnership with scholars at the universities of Liverpool, Washington and Florence.

University of Warwick
Turkish Airlines staff will take an engineering business management master’s as part of a link with a university. WMG at the University of Warwick is teaching and delivering the course in Istanbul with Yıldız Technical University, with 26 staff having joined the course, 20 more shortly to join and 100 others on a waiting list to take part. Sujit Banerji, executive director of WMG Education, said that Turkish Airlines staff had joined “a programme that will help create the next generation of business leaders”.

University of Liverpool
A study into magma ascent has found that temperature may be more important than pressure in generating gas bubbles that trigger explosive volcanic eruptions. In a paper published in Nature, researchers at the University of Liverpool’s School of Environmental Sciences showed that as magma ascends in volcanic conduits, it heats up, which can force the formation of bubbles.

King’s College London
The world’s first surgical operation using a “soft robot” has taken place at a London university. The highly flexible robot was used by medics, engineers and robotics experts at King’s College London to perform abdominal surgery on a human cadaver last month. Mimicking the movement of an octopus’ tentacles, the robot is able to elongate and bend itself in all directions, thereby making it possible to reach areas previously inaccessible to doctors using rigid surgical tools.

University of London
One of the UK’s best-known university buildings will host BBC One’s Antiques Roadshow this autumn. The University of London’s Senate House will serve as a location for the popular Sunday evening show on 25 September. Filming will coincide with the centenary celebrations of one of the university’s colleges, Soas, which is moving into the iconic Art Deco building’s North Block in June to create a single unified campus in Bloomsbury.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments


Print headline: Institute seeks to sharpen police practice worldwide

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

University of Oxford students walking on campus

University of Oxford snatches top spot from Caltech in this year’s World University Rankings as Asia’s rise continues

Home secretary says government will support 'best' universities

Man handing microphone to audience member

Academic attainment of disadvantaged students can be improved if they can decide how they are assessed, study claims

Italy's gold medallist

New measures to ensure universities are ‘not penalised’ for taking poorer students also outlined for next stage of TEF

Brexit from the EU

The historic UK referendum result is a challenge to the core beliefs of those attending this year’s EAIE annual conference, says Jack Grove