Pracademic policing: How police-led research can revolutionize police effectiveness

Police lights

This seminar was recorded at the Australian National University on 13 December 2017. Please do not reproduce without permission.

Police innovators around the world are doing research that tests and refines new ideas. This seminar reviews the growth of police-led “pracademic” research, with academic support, through such developments as the new (since 2010) Societies of Evidence-Based Policing in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, US and Canada, and the Cambridge Journal of Evidence-based Policing. The implications of this trend for police reform in democracies and other nations will be discussed.

About the speakers

Lawrence Sherman is Chair of the Police Executive Programme at the University of Cambridge, offering a part-time Master’s degree in applied criminology and police management to over 170 students from ten countries. His 1998 Police Foundation lecture on “Evidence-Based Policing” is widely recognized as the foundation of a global professional movement generating societies for evidence-based policing in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US, now with over 5,000 members. Sherman has served as the Honorary President of the Society of Evidence-Based Policing (UK) since its formation in 2010, and is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Cambridge Journal of Evidence-based Policing. Sherman began his career in police research in the New York City Police Department in 1971 as a civilian analyst in the Office of the Commissioner. Since then he has conducted or designed field research and experiments in over 30 police agencies across five continents, including the Metropolitan Police in London and the Australian Federal Police.

Heather Strang is Director of the Police Executive Programme and the Masters degree in Applied Criminology and Police Management at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge. She is also Director of Research at the Cambridge Lee Centre of Experimental Criminology and an expert in the management of randomized controlled trials, exploring a wide range of topics in criminology. Dr Strang previously served for ten years as Director of the Centre for Restorative Justice at the Australian National University, managing the four randomised controlled trials in restorative justice known as the RISE experiments. Dr Strang’s research interests include the effects of crime and justice on victims of crime, the diversion of cases from prosecution to alternative disposals, as well as the application of restorative justice conferences in criminal justice as both a supplement to and diversion from prosecution. More recently she has been involved in research in the United Kingdom on police responses to domestic violence, co-directing randomised trials on programs designed to prevent repeat domestic abuse.

Debbie Platz is an Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner, responsible for the Crime Operations portfolio. Crime Operations investigates a broad range of crime types including drug importations, firearms trafficking and matters considered to be politically sensitive or may adversely impact on the Commonwealth Government, a Member of Parliament or any other political figure. In addition, the Crime Operations portfolio is responsible for Victim Based Crime, which aims to reduce the incidence and impact of Commonwealth crimes against the person. The portfolio focuses on Child Exploitation, Human Trafficking, and People Smuggling, as well as matters in which Australian citizens are killed, harmed or missing overseas. Prior to joining the Australian Federal Police, Debbie enjoyed a 30 year career with the Queensland Police Service (QPS), commencing when she was sworn in on 27 September 1985. Between 2000 and 2014, Debbie was heavily involved in the performance review of QPS, an internal review of Information Communications and Technology and the 2011 Flood Crisis Review Group. Debbie also worked as the staff officer to the Commissioner and was later in charge of the training and development of police, managing two police academies, a leadership centre, recruitment, workplace safety and wellbeing. Debbie has a Master’s of Business Administration (University of the Sunshine Coast), a Graduate Diploma in Education (Secondary/VET) (University of the Sunshine Coast) and a Masters of Studies (Applied Criminology) from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet