Centre for Citizens in Policing

The IPSCJ is a leading centre for the study of police volunteering and citizen involvement in policing. Our aim is to make a significant contribution supporting the development of evidence-based approaches, through a wide-ranging research programme and by our active involvement in translating evidence into policy and practice change.

The Institute has a growing team across the Citizens in Policing agenda, who collectively bring a significant depth of academic experience and expertise in researching police volunteering and citizen involvement. Members of the team have presented frequently at conferences in the UK, as well as internationally in Europe and the USA. The team is particularly focused upon translating research and evaluation into real change.

The IPSCJ team has a substantial programme of current and recent research projects, nationally and internationally, including:

National Research project into leadership of the Special Constabulary, England & Wales

The IPSCJ is undertaking a national study of leaders within the Special Constabulary. The research is being actively supported by ASCCO, who are facilitating the research project. The study aims to develop understanding and insight in relation to the varying leadership arrangements and rank structures of the Special Constabularies across the country and to research the roles and experiences of those who occupy senior leadership positions, leading their Special Constabularies as Chief Officers.

The study involves interviews with senior-ranked Specials across forces in England and Wales, and also a national survey of Specials holding the rank of Inspector and above. The aim of the study is to provide an evidence-base to underpin future developments in leadership models and roles across Special Constabularies.

National evaluation of the mini-police, England & Wales

The mini-police model is being rolled out across a number of forces in England and Wales, engaging large numbers of primary age children. The IPSCJ is delivering the national evaluation of the mini-police programme.

The national ‘big data’ project across Special Constabularies, England & Wales

The Special Constabulary ‘big data’ research project aims, for the first time, to analyse data across Special Constabularies on a national scale. Supported by the Police Transformation Fund, the research project will analyse cohort data from a large volume of forces, looking at who joins the Specials, how long they serve, how active they are and what they do.

Research Review of the Metropolitan Special Constabulary

The IPSCJ undertook research in 2017 surveying both Special Constables and also Regular officers and PCSOs, to help build the evidence-base supporting the Metropolitan Police reform programme in respect of the Special Constabulary. The IPSCJ also attends the advisory board for the Specials programme in the MPS.

National Citizens in Policing Benchmarking, England & Wales

The IPSCJ undertook fieldwork across all forces in England and Wales to gather data for the first national-scale data benchmarking exercise across Citizens in Policing in summer 2016, producing the initial Phase 1 Benchmarking Report which was presented to the Citizens in Policing national Strategic Board in early 2017.

Further benchmarking work by the IPSCJ will update and develop the data picture through 2018 and 2019, supported by the Police Transformation Fund; helping to build a stronger national data picture across the Special Constabulary, Police Support Volunteers, the Volunteer Police Cadets, OPCC volunteers, and other forms of police-related voluntarism.

National Survey of Special Constables and Police Support Volunteers in England & Wales

The IPSCJ analysed the first large-scale national survey of Specials and Police Support Volunteers in England and Wales; the survey was ‘live’ in December 2015 and January 2016, with an initial Findings Report produced in early 2016. The survey had approximately 3,000 responses, covering every force in the country.

A further national survey will be undertaken, led by the IPSCJ, in early summer of 2018, funded by the Police Transformation Fund. Full results should be available by autumn 2018.

International Comparative Study, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Florida, USA

A small-scale interview-based project undertaken in January 2017, based on in-depth interviews with Reserve Deputies in the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in Florida, USA. The study was undertaken in partnership with the University of Central Florida.

Police Support Volunteer & Special Constables project, Greater Manchester Police

A programme of research across police volunteering was undertaken by the IPSCJ in early 2017 in partnership with GMP. The programme looked at the experience of female Specials, ‘career’ Specials, and the Police Support Volunteer programme. The work also researched the perspectives and experiences of Regular officers and PCSOs.

Research into the Special Constabulary Experience, West Yorkshire

A survey-based research project undertaken in 2017, exploring Specials’ experiences and identifying ways that the Special Constable operating model and leadership can be strengthened in the future. The research also involved data analysis of the Specials cohort, and analysis of applications and leavers’ data over a number of years.

Pilot Projects to develop models of Employer Supported Policing, GMP, Hertfordshire, Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire, Cumbria

The IPSCJ has been supporting a national project led by the national NPCC portfolio for CiP and managed by North Yorkshire Police, to benchmark current progress in the development of ESP and develop options for the future.

The IPSCJ is also leading on the evaluation of pilot initiatives to develop new and innovative models for ESP, working with the five forces of the North-West region and Hertfordshire. This piloting work will take place during 2018 and early 2019, and is funded by the Police Transformation Fund.

Project to develop a new and innovative value framework for the Special Constabulary, Essex

Working collaboratively with Essex Police, the IPSCJ is supporting the development of a new and innovative framework for identifying and capturing value across the activity of the Special Constabulary. A project funded by the Police Transformation Fund, this local work aims to produce a model that can then be translated into other force settings across the country.

Project to develop a Citizens in Policing value framework, Devon & Cornwall

The IPSCJ is working collaboratively with the Devon and Cornwall Citizens in Policing team, to develop a value framework and related metrics and performance management approach, to support the development of the force’s new and innovative Citizens in Policing strategy.

National Volunteer Police Cadets outcomes project, UK

Working in partnership with the national Volunteer Police Cadets programme and Cap Gemini, this project, which is part-funded by the Police Transformation Fund, aims to identify the social impact achieved through the work of the Cadets programme, and in particular to identify impacts on demand reduction for public services. The project will draw in practice examples to underpin this work from forces across the United Kingdom.

National Volunteer Police Cadet Transitions project, England & Wales (with pilot site in West Yorkshire)

Partnering with West Yorkshire Police and the national Volunteer Police Cadet programme, the IPSCJ is researching the transitions of young people across engagement in mini-police and Cadets at different ages, and then into adult opportunities across the policing family. The work is part-funded via the Police Transformation Fund.

National Project to develop a unified and innovative recruitment, training and pathways for Special Constables across Wales: North Wales, South Wales, Gwent, Dyfed-Powys

The IPSCJ is supporting the development and leading the evaluation of a project to build a new model for recruiting and developing Specials across the four forces in Wales. The Welsh forces are developing a new, common model which will support the portability of Specials across the four forces, and will also focus on improving experience, enhancing retention, and creating a ‘one journey’ experience, including for those Specials who wish to subsequently join forces as Regular officers. This work is supported by the Police Transformation Fund.

Regional project to pilot new models of recruitment and training for the Special Constabulary and improve Special Constable experience and retention in South-East England: Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Thames Valley, Kent

The IPSCJ is similarly supporting the development and leading the evaluation for a project across four forces in the South-East of England, to develop new and innovative models for the attraction, training and retention of Specials. Again, this project is supported by the Police Transformation Fund.

Pilot project to develop an interactive platform for volunteer engagement, recruitment and support, Merseyside

The IPSCJ is evaluating a new interactive platform for volunteer engagement, recruitment and support which is being developed by Merseyside Police. The project is part-funded by the Police Transformation Fund.

Diversity and the Special Constabulary project, Metropolitan Special Constabulary

Collaborating with the Metropolitan Police, the IPSCJ is researching ways to improve engagement across diversity in the Special Constabulary, and in particular in relation to promotion and progression in role. This project is supported by the Police Transformation Fund.

National Special Constable Representation Survey, England & Wales

In spring 2017 the IPSCJ undertook a survey on behalf of the Home Office and the NPCC national lead for Special Constabulary, ACC Richard Debicki, to help provide an evidence-base for considerations of future representation models for Specials. With over 1,000 responses from every force in England and Wales, the survey explored Specials’ experiences of support, the challenges they face and their desires for future representation.

Pilot project to evaluate Special Constables and Police Support Volunteers in Counter-Terrorism contexts, Metropolitan Police Service

The IPSCJ is evaluating a pilot project being undertaken by the Metropolitan Police to increase the engagement of Special Constables and Police Support Volunteers in counter-terrorism activity. The work is supported by the Police Transformation Fund.

Research project to develop and evaluate training, development, support and pathways for ‘career’ Specials, and for Special Constables in specialist roles, Hertfordshire

The IPSCJ is researching models for improving support and experience for longer-serving Specials, partnering with Hertfordshire Police. This work is part-supported by the Police Transformation Fund

Pilot project to develop demand-led deployment of Specials, PSVs, Volunteer Police Cadets and community action, City of London

In collaboration with City of London Police, the IPSCJ is undertaking a pilot project to explore an enhanced model for voluntary engagement. The project will test new and innovative ways of engaging and tasking volunteers. This work is part-supported by the Police Transformation Fund.

Pilot project to evaluate the engagement of sex workers as police volunteers, Northumbria

The IPSCJ is evaluating a project in Northumbria which engages sex workers as volunteers. This work is part-supported by the Police Transformation Fund.

International research into police volunteer leadership

The IPSCJ’s study of leadership in police volunteering focusses on the leadership and strategic management of volunteers in policing both in the UK and USA. The project explores and compares the strategies, perspectives and culture around police volunteering amongst senior leaders in policing and examine and evaluate the experiences, strategies and perspectives of volunteer leaders in the Special Constabulary, Reserve and Auxiliary programmes in both countries. The study aims to make a significant contribution to the research-base in respect of the leadership and strategic management of police volunteers; and to impact and influence the improvement of the leadership of volunteers, and in so doing to enhance both volunteer experience and the value delivered through voluntarism. The first phase of international fieldwork is being undertaken in the USA in November, 2017.

Review of Police Support Volunteers, Devon & Cornwall

The IPSCJ undertook a review of PSVs in Devon and Cornwall in spring/summer 2017. The review comprised of over fifty interviews and focus groups, and produced a strategic report for the force’s Citizens in Policing team.

Evidence-review of the Senior Citizen Liaison Team, Avon & Somerset

The IPSCJ is working with the Senior Citizen Liaison Team to review evidence in respect of the project, and help identify learning and approaches to ‘roll out’ more broadly geographically.

Pilot project to research and evaluate vetting approaches with police volunteers, Cheshire

A collaborative project between Cheshire Police and IPSCJ to evaluate models for a more flexible risk-managed approach to vetting for some police volunteers. The work is supported by the Police Transformation Fund.

Evaluation of volunteer Community Befriender Scheme, North Yorkshire

The IPSCJ is evaluating a partnership volunteer project in three sites in North Yorkshire, partnering with North Yorkshire Police. The work is part-funded by the Police Transformation Fund.

Evaluation of demand reduction through volunteering and community action project, Plymouth

The Plymouth demand reduction through volunteering project is a partnership initiative. Partnering with Devon and Cornwall Police, the IPSCJ is supporting the development of the project and leading on its evaluation. The work is part-funded by Devon and Cornwall Police, and partly by the Police Transformation Fund.

Review of the Special Constabulary, Gwent

The IPSCJ undertook a review of the Special Constabulary in Gwent in spring 2017. The review involved interviews and focus groups with Special Constables, data analysis, and surveys of Specials and of Regulars and PCSOs. The review has informed the ongoing strategic plan for the Special Constabulary in Gwent.

Review of the Special Constabulary, Hertfordshire

In summer 2016 the IPSCJ completed a review of the Special Constabulary in Hertfordshire. The research work included focus groups with Special Constables, interviews with strategic stakeholders and data analysis. A findings report was produced for the OPCC and force, and the IPSCJ presented findings and recommendations, which have formed part of the context for subsequent strategic changes in the force’s Specials model.

Developing a Citizens in Policing Strategy, Gwent

The IPSCJ is providing strategic support to Gwent force and OPCC to develop a new Citizens in Policing Strategy.

Review of the Special Constabulary, Devon & Cornwall and Dorset

In 2016, the IPSCJ undertook a review of the Special Constabulary across Devon and Cornwall and Dorset. The review work included interviews with Special Constables, interviews and a survey with Regular officers, interviews with senior and strategic stakeholders, and data analysis.

Activity Analysis for Special Constables, Lincolnshire

In 2016, The IPSCJ undertook a small, exploratory activity analysis project with the Special Constabulary in Lincolnshire

Review of the Special Constabulary, Northamptonshire

In 2016, the IPSCJ undertook a review of the Special Constabulary in Northamptonshire. The review involved interviews with Special Constables, interviews with strategic stakeholders and data analysis.