Education and research for 21st century policing: Collaboration, competition and collusion
In many countries around the world, there is a drive to develop formal educational qualifications for the police in support of a policing profession and identity based on an explicit body of knowledge, as well as tacit craft. This shift also includes a greater emphasis on continuing professional development and capability enhancement for existing officers and staff. This paper analyses the establishment and growth of a national, inter-organizational learning network across the nations of the UK, taking account of the different policy contexts and based on a close collaboration and co-design of education between academics and practitioners. It includes a variety of geographical, demographic and organisational circumstances in policing. The paper provides a first hand, but critical and reflective account of the planning, funding and resourcing of a policing collaboration between police and academics working with a national UK university. It examines the academic and practitioner considerations that education providers and police forces throughout Europe and globally need to be mindful of when undertaking such ventures. It proposes a model of collaboration that avoids either the police or the academics taking over the venture (competition) or alternatively failing to challenge each other’s ideas (collusion). Given the complex and dynamic context for law enforcement throughout Europe, this model, it is argued, deserves further examination and testing in other contexts.
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