15 January 2019

Introducing the Thames Valley Police Journal

After the successful publication of the first edition of the Thames Valley Police (TVP) Journal, Superintendent Katy Barrow-Grint explains the reasons behind its development.

​The TVP Journal has been developed to share the academic work of officers and staff within Thames Valley Police.

Superintendent Katy Barrow-Grint first identified the need for a TVP Journal following completion of her Master's degree in Police Leadership & Management at Warwick Business School.  She had published an article on her domestic abuse related research in the OUP Journal 'Policing: a Journal of Policy & Practice', but identified that there was no formal way of sharing her findings with colleagues inside her own police force.

As well as providing a mechanism for sharing research and recommendations, the TVP Journal also demonstrates the value placed upon the academic research and interests of TVP officers and staff. As a result of the focus on evidence-based practice in policing and organisational learning there was strong support for the concept of the TVP Journal from both staff and chief officers.

Thames Valley Police has supported over 300 programmes of academic study for its officers and staff since 2013. A wide range of subjects have been studied including criminology, law, criminal justice, financial crime, cybercrime, and counter terrorism. 

The Journal seeks to publish articles of between 3,000 and 6,000 words, accepting three types of submission:

  • Full article
  • Research/practice note
  • Comment/discussion piece

The intention is to encourage the sharing, not only of formal academic research, but also workplace-based research ensuring that it is all accessible to others in the organisation.  This is particularly valuable where there might be research trials taking place in different areas of policing across the force area.

In order to safeguard operational activity and public trust and confidence in Thames Valley Police several criteria were developed in order to ensure that published articles do not undermine operational policing activity.  Articles cannot contain information capable of identifying victims (in any circumstances), disclose information about ongoing investigations or covert tactics, affect proceedings undertaken by any other public bodies or deter victims or witnesses from speaking to the police.

The publication of submitted articles is also subject to a peer review system; where each article is reviewed internally by a colleague with an academic qualification of Master's degree or higher. There are 14 police staff and 26 police officer peer reviewers who ensure quality and consistency in the submissions and also identify opportunities for wider publication and embedding practice and recommendations into policing.

Initially the Journal was intended only for internal distribution. However, due to overwhelming feedback and interest from Thames Valley Police staff it was decided to make the Journal more widely available. Feedback indicated that staff were proud to share their academic work and were appreciative that the organisation was taking such an interest in their professional research. The first edition was made publicly available in October 2018 and was launched at the NPCC & APCC Partnership Summit in London. With the assistance of the Society of Evidence Based Policing and the College of Policing the Journal has been shared widely throughout the UK and has even reached other countries including Trinidad and Tobago, the USA, Australia, Turkey and Iceland.

The second edition of the Journal has been published and includes a variety of articles such as:

  • a case study by Chief Inspector Cecilia Agger on her secondment to the United Nations mission in South Sudan highlighting the problems of protecting civilians without having executive powers or a judicial system.
  • a discussion piece by Dario Galasso describing the use of structured analytic techniques to effectively manage the risk surrounding the release of a convicted terrorist.
  • a detailed discussion authored by Superintendent Tim Metcalfe, aiming to reframe how Chief Constables should review Police Reform

Thames Valley Police are grateful to all of the authors who submitted articles and Ch/Supt Rob France, C/Insp Lee Barnham and Michelle Campbell, without whom the Journal would not be possible.

If you would like to access the Thames Valley Police Journal, simply visit the TVP website. Scroll to the bottom of the page to Advice and Information section.  Click on Accessing Information (FOI), then type TVP Journal in the search box. 

You can contact Superintendent Katy Barrow-Grint via Twitter @ktbg1

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