Police as critical consumers of research: Informing practice through research

Victoria Herrington

    Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    Police research often receives bad press from police practitioners. Academics who do police research are often regarded as being overly critical (Laycock, 2001; Boba, 2010) or as eternal pessimists able to find a cloud, or a criticism, to surround any silver lining (Cordner & White, 2010). In short, there is a perception among many working in policing that academics writing about policing are in some way out to 'get the police' (Van Maanen, 1978). Add to this the apparent peculiarities of the academic profession being as it is, as interested in ideas and concepts as in practical upshots-and it is little wonder that the average police officer feels there is little to be gained from engaging with research and the academic literature, let alone with academics themselves. The purpose of this chapter is to challenge this point of view, and to demonstrate how policing in general and an individual's police practice can benefit from research and the existing literature about policing. This chapter will provide readers with the tools to enable them to be critical consumers of research, to understand some of the unwritten rules of academic research and to know how to look for research to inform their practice. This chapter will also demonstrate the benefits of engaging with academics involved in police research and how, in doing so, police can help set the research agenda and find answers to the perplexing questions they face in their day-to-day practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPolicing in practice
    EditorsPhilip Birch, Victoria Herrington
    Place of PublicationSouth Yarra
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    Number of pages19
    ISBN (Print)9781420256468
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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