1st Edition

Applied Police Research Challenges and opportunities

Edited By Ella Cockbain, Johannes Knutsson Copyright 2015
    176 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    176 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Remarkably little has been written about the theory and practice of applied police research, despite growing demand for evidence in crime prevention. Designed to fill this gap, this book offers a valuable new resource. It contains a carefully curated selection of contributions from some of the world's leading applied police researchers. Together, the authors have almost 300 years of relevant experience across three continents.

    The volume contains both practical everyday advice and calls for more fundamental change in how police research is created, consumed and applied. It covers diverse topics, including the art of effective collaborations, the interaction between policing, academia and policy, the interplay between theory and practice and managing ethical dilemmas. This book will interest a broad and international audience from academics and students, to police management, officers and trainees, to policymakers and research funders.

    Editors' and Series Editor’s forewords  1. Introduction, Ella Cockbain and Johannes Knutsson  2. Working in the field: Police research in theory and in practice, David Kennedy  3. Getting a foot in the closed door: Practical advice for starting out in research into crime and policing issues, Ella Cockbain  4. Tip-toeing through the credibility mine field: Gaining social acceptance in policing research, Rick Brown  5. Trust me, I’m a researcher, Gloria Laycock  6. Organized crime research: Challenging assumptions and informing policy, Edward R. Kleemans  7. Practical academics: Positive outcomes of police-researcher collaborations, Tamara D. Madensen and William H. Sousa  8. Numbers and narratives, Eli B. Silverman  9. Politics, promises and problems: The rise and fall of the Swedish police evaluation unit, Johannes Knutsson  10. An inside job: Managing mismatched expectations and unwanted findings when conducting police research as a police officer, Stefan Holgersson  11. Police research as mastering the Tango: the dance and its meanings, Jack R. Greene  12. There is nothing so theoretical as good practice: Police-researcher coproduction of place theory, John E. Eck  13. There is nothing so practical as a good theory: Teacher-learner relationships in applied research for policing, Nick Tilley.


    Ella Cockbain is a Research Fellow at UCL’s Department of Security and Crime Science. Her particular research interest is serious and complex crime - and its prevention. Her current research projects are focused on; human trafficking for labour exploitation; and sexual exploitation of boys. Her Ph.D. was among the first academic research into the internal (domestic) sex trafficking of British children. Ella collaborates widely with police and other practitioners and regularly delivers training and consultancy. Her publications include peer-reviewed journal articles and restricted reports for law-enforcement. This is her first book.

    Johannes Knutsson is Professor of Police Research at the Norwegian Police University College and has previously held positions at the Swedish National Police Academy and the Swedish National Police Board. He has conducted studies with and for the police for more than 30 years. Among other publications, he has co-edited several books on different aspects of policing: Putting Theory to Work. Implementing situational prevention and problem-oriented policing (with Ron Clarke); Evaluating Crime Prevention Initiatives (with Nick Tilley); Police Use of Force: A Global Perspective (with Joseph Kuhns); and Preventing Crowd Violence (with Tamara Madensen).

    ‘In academia we teach and learn a lot about criminal justice and police research: methodology, design, statistical analysis, instrument development, measurement - all essential to producing policy relevant knowledge. Yet, equally important but often ignored, is the nitty gritty of such research: how to approach a police department and establish an ongoing research relationship; how to ensure that research is carried out as designed; how to manage the unavoidable crises that arise when attempting research in a complex organization; how to exit the research setting; how to publish the findings in ways that preserve the research/host organization relationship and remains loyal to the discoveries; how to produce research that benefits both the host organization and the career aspirations of the researcher; and so on.

    Until now, we have had little guidance in how to think about such issues. Applied Police Research, written by academics who have struggled with such issues throughout distinguished careers, provides such practical wisdom. No one launching a career in criminal justice or police research should miss it.’ - George Kelling, Emeritus Professor, Rutgers University and Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute, USA

    ‘A refreshingly down-to-earth collection of essays, in which experienced police researchers tell us what they've learned - quite candidly in some cases - about the promise and the perils of various types of scholar/practitioner engagement. There is a selflessness in this enterprise, born of an obviously shared and deep commitment to improve policing.’ - Malcolm K. Sparrow, Professor of the Practice of Public Management, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, USA

    'This volume makes a very nice addition to the growing body of literature on police-researcher relations. Each author contributes some important and distinctive insights and advice to the general themes that run through all of the chapters. Whether a reader is new to police research or an old hand, they are likely to find something in this volume of interest and importance to their work.'— Michael S. Scott, JD, Director of the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, Chicago, IL