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  4. CLJJ Annual Lecture: Policing, Transparency and Evidence Based Practice in Policing




CLJJ Annual Lecture: Policing, Transparency and Evidence Based Practice in Policing




The Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism welcomes Professor Betsy Stanko OBE to give the annual lecture on Policing, Transparency and Evidence Based Practice in Policing.

This lecture explores the changing nature of policing. The growing discussion between key players in the policing profession, she will argue, is a mark of genuine change, which merits increased optimism in the prospect of aligning public expectations and best public policing practice. There is a popular expectation that those with authority act with fairness and respect in the line of duty. There is also an expectation that a profession acts in alignment with best practice and best outcomes. The discussion comes with the arrival of greater democratic transparency about policing outcomes and past policing practice.

Government’s journey toward greater transparency involves making crime data available to the public, for instance, and offering greater insight into the performance of day-to-day policing through HMIC’s Police Effectiveness, Efficiency and Legitimacy (PEEL) inspection programmes. Laudable, these developments show that the police are under greater transparent public scrutiny than ever before. At the same time, the College of Policing is undertaking a root and branch overhaul of professional practice to improve evidence-based policing practice. Lately, there have been a number of high-profile legal challenges to past transgressions and failures of policing professionalism. She will look specifically at the recent Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham (2014), and the case between claimants ‘DSD’ and ‘NBV’ and the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (28/2/2014), as two examples in particular. She will use these texts as another window of transparency into police practice.

Practice changes need to be informed by the best ‘evidence’. Changes need better research, science and information to help transform the business of policing. She will argue that we also need a better grasp of an approach to practice based evidence, as a lever for changing how the police make routine discretionary decisions, such as those made in DSD and NBV v. the Commissioner and in Rotherham. Practice based evidence differs from evidence based practice, she argues, because it is forensic for the need for a change in the day-to-day behaviour of police officers making routine decisions. A better understanding of how routine decisions impact implementation and affect outcomes for policing is critical. Most police practice takes place inside a closed system. Many scholars have termed this ‘police culture’. She will further suggest that we need to find a way of making everyday police practice more transparent and more responsive to levers for change, so that police practice can be influenced by those outside ‘the culture’. The outcomes of routine practices will ultimately be improved.

About the Speaker

Professor Betsy Stanko is currently Head of Evidence and Insight at the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.  Previously she was Assistant Director, Corporate Development, The Metropolitan Police Service, responsible for leading a team of strategic researchers and analysts, influencing strategic crime analysis across the MPS and advising performance analysis for the MPS Management Board.

From 1997 - 2002 Professor Stanko was the Programme Director of the highly influential Economic and Social Research Council's Programme on Violence.  This internationally recognised research programme contributed to government policy in the areas of domestic violence, alcohol and violence, terrorism (punishment beatings in Northern Ireland), violence against children and racist violence.

Previously she was a professor of criminology, teaching and researching at Clark University (USA), Brunel University, Cambridge University and Royal Holloway, University of London (where she is an Emeritus Professor of Criminology).  She has published over 80 books and articles over her academic career.

Professor Stanko is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Visiting Professor in the Department of Sociology, City University London.


18.00 Door open
18.30 Lecture begins
19.30 Reception

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When & where

6.30pm - 8.00pmTuesday 21st April 2015

Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre Tait Building City, University of London 10 Northampton Square London EC1V 0HB United Kingdom

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