07 November 2017

Research Mapping: a police appeal with a difference

Here at College What Works, we are seeking Research Map contributions from students, police and academics. 

The new university semester is underway and the Policing and Crime Reduction Research Map can help you to connect with other researchers, identify research gaps and even inspire you to design your own project.  If you are carrying out policing or crime-related research at Masters Level or above you can share a short summary about your ongoing research with the Research Map.  We will create a personalised project page for you which you can use to tell people about your work.  Your project page can be updated at any time – you can even change the completion date as many times as you like!  When your project is complete we will invite you to share your reports with the National Police Library to add to the growing evidence base.

Dr Stephen Tong, Director of the Canterbury Centre for Policing Research (CCPR) tells us why he, and his students use the Policing and Crime Reduction Research Map:

We use the Research Map to look out for research similar to that which we are conducting; both to avoid duplication but also to see if there are areas of mutual interest with other researchers and police. Putting your research on the Map is very straightforward and we have been proactive about promoting it with academics, students and police forces to coordinate our research efforts and share generated knowledge.

The Canterbury Centre for Policing Research  has a particular focus on supporting practitioners and the Research Map is a vital tool for raising awareness of the work of our Centre.  Our growing number of post graduate students, many of whom are serving officers and police staff, use the Map to find policing and crime reduction research projects. 

Canterbury Christ Church students share their projects with the Map.

Gareth Stubbs is an Inspector, currently working in Change Management for Lancashire Constabulary and a PhD candidate.

"I'm researching the change in social identity and social networks of new police recruits. I chose this topic as I have already done some research on the influence of policing connections to the relative success of applicants during police recruitment.  This identified that active connections with a police officer during the application process made a big difference to chance of success.  By sharing my project with the Map, I'm hoping that others will also share their work and get in touch with me! I think it's really helpful to build strong networks and connect practitioners and researchers who are working on similar projects.

I use the Map regularly to find ongoing research.  It's a great tool for networking, and I often use it to connect a research project with a person on Twitter (which I use all the time @dedicatedpeeler )."


​Liam Cahill is a sergeant with the Metropolitan ​Police Service (MPS) and an MSc by research candidate.

"My research is on MPS police officers and their use of social media.  It focuses on whether their engagement on platforms could constitute a form of surveillance.  Given the increased use of social media within policing there are complex issues in defining 'social media surveillance' and understanding the related ethical issues in the context of the security/privacy debate. 

Having been awarded a College Bursary to study, I have been encouraged to share a summary of my research to make it easy for people to contact me to exchange ideas. The Map is a valuable resource for helping new students to develop their areas of study by identifying gaps in the research."

You can follow Liam on Twitter @LiamCahill79


Over the next few weeks we will be using #CoPResearchMap on social media to share some of the diverse projects shared with the Map and to encourage new contributors – like you!

You can share a summary of your research by completing the Research Map online submission form For further information please email research.map@college.pnn.police.uk .