Tackling the crime-terror nexus inside prisons in England and Wales: strategies, perceptions and recommendations

Research Institution / Organisation

Staffordshire University

Principal Researcher

Hannah Bennett

Level of Research

PhD

Project Start Date

September 2019

Research Context

The purpose of this study is to:

Strategies:
Identify current policing strategies and policies (e.g. CONTEST and NPICC) which endeavour to tackle the crime-terror partnerships inside prisons in England and Wales.

Perceptions:
Explore the police and their partner agencies' perceptions of the policing structures, strategies and policies

Recommendations:
Based on the findings of the research, the study will offer recommendations on how the police can further support the tackling of terrorists and criminals from forming partnerships inside prison.

It is evident from previous research (Basra and Neumann, 2016), that prisons offer an environment for networking amongst criminals and terrorists. Some prisoners are forming alliances, learning new tactics and gaining associations that can provide expertise in illegal goods and services. However, less is known about how we can minimise this networking. Hence, this study will propose recommendations on how the police can tackle the crime-terror partnership inside prisons in England and Wales, whilst critically engaging the CONTEST strategy 4 'P' work strands: Prevent, Prepare, Protect and Pursue.

Ultimately, the impact of this study will be:

  • Prevent - Offer recommendations on how the police can support positive, safe and secure environments for prisoners, particularly those most at risk.

  • Prepare - Provide a better understanding of whether public servants feel they have the confidence and capabilities required to perform their role and tackle the threat from organised criminals and terrorists.

  • Protect - Contribute to academic literature, which will be of interest to those involved in protecting victims, organisations and systems from the most dangerous prisoners in England and Wales.

  • Pursue - Produce research findings which will be of interest in the formulation of national policy and practice to tackle the crime-terror partnership, ultimately disrupting terrorists and organised criminals.

 

Research Methodology

The study has three research questions which require me to gain a rich and complex understanding of the participants' experience in order to be answered. Therefore, the study has a constructivist ontological orientation and an interpretivist epistemology position. The methodology for the study will be an abductive approach with an overall qualitative research design.

Firstly, I will conduct a literature review to examine what others have researched and written on this theme. Then, using a range of secondary sources I will review and critically scrutinise policing strategies that theoretically aim to tackle the crime-terror partnerships inside prisons in England and Wales.

In order to test the theory against public servants and prison officer's perceptions, I will be using qualitative interviews to elicit whether the participants have confidence to perform their role and tackle the threat from organised criminals and terrorists forming partnerships inside prison.

I will also use these interviews to produce recommendations as to how the police can support HMPPS to tackle the crime-terror partnership inside prisons and disseminate these to the relevant key decision makers and business leads.

If you would like to take part in the study or have any questions about the research, please contact Hannah on hannah.bennett@research.staffs.ac.uk

Interim reports and publications

‚ÄčNot available

Date due for completion

September 2022
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