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CPRL Annual Conference (online) - Resilience in Policing and Publics

Wednesday, April 28, 2021 - 09:30 to Thursday, April 29, 2021 - 12:00

CPRL Annual Conference: Resilience in Policing and Publics

Monday 26th April - Thursday 29th April 2021

Virtual Conference (MS Teams)

Purpose and theme 

Each year the Centre for Policing Research and Learning (CPRL) holds an annual conference, based on a theme relevant to contemporary and future policing.  It is open and free to all police forces/agencies, with preferential booking for Centre partners.  Contributions come from academics, public sector and police practitioners, drawing on but not limited to OU research in collaboration with Centre partner police agencies.  The aim is to explore new research findings, discuss their relevance and applicability to policy and practice, and share good or interesting ideas between policing and across policing and academia.  This can strengthen collaboration between police and academics through critical challenge and exploration of research ideas and evidence.

This year the theme is “Resilience in Policing and Publics”.  Resilience refers to our ability to anticipate, respond, and adapt to change and unexpected challenges in a positive way.  This theme is enduringly relevant but also has extra resonance in the coronavirus pandemic.  Fostering  and strengthening resilience is all the more crucial in today’s environment marked by the enormous disruptions caused by the pandemic which has affected society as a whole – impacting politically, economically, socially and individually.  This conference aims to bring together different perspectives from both academia and practice to further our understanding of resilience, whether it be planned, adaptive or everyday resilience.  There will be opportunities to discuss the implications and applications of learning and the insights and opportunities it presents. The three days will specifically focus on:

  • Resilience and the pandemic
  • Resilience, health and the environment
  • Organisational resilience



Thursday 29th April, 10:00 - 12:00 (with a 15-minute break)

Workshop: Policing Uncertainty: The Resilience of Two UK Police Forces in the Context of the Covid-19 Pandemic 

Led by Professor Mark Fenton-O’Creevy with Dr Nicky Miller, Dr Ben Bowles and Dr Helen Selby-Fell (Centre for Policing Research and Learning, OU) 

Policing Uncertainty: Decisions and Actions in a National Emergency (PU:DANE) is an interdisciplinary research project that examines the way in which two police forces adapted to the changing dynamics of the Covid-19 pandemic. 
It focuses on the decisions made by senior leaders in these two forces over the period from the advent of the crisis in early 2020 to the current situation of a third national lockdown. Both forces experienced different emerging challenges during Covid and presented an interesting area for comparison. 

Through the analyses of interviews with senior leaders and key documents, we have been able to come to some tentative early conclusions concerning the resilience of these forces to the pandemic situation. 

Overall, the research is revealing a situation where these force’s skills in managing major and critical incidents was applied to great effect in the uncertainties of the developing Covid-19 pandemic. However, decisions that were necessarily longer term and strategic; events that were novel and unprecedented; and, the effects of the police’s relationships with political decision makers and other local partners, all proved harder to manage and presented challenges. 

The aim of this workshop is to engage CPRL member forces in joint sense making about the emerging findings and their implications for policing practice. 


Booking and practicalities 

This free conference will be held online using MS Teams and will take place on Monday 26th – Wednesday 28th April from 10am, with around five hours of input each day. There will be a mix of different types of input across the conference including keynote presentations, plenary sessions, parallel sessions, panel discussions and more.  In addition to this there will be a Members only workshop taking place on Thursday 29th April from 10am - 12pm.

A number of places are reserved for police officers and staff from the 22 police forces/agencies which are partners of the Centre for Policing Research and Learning. (Go to the about page on the website to check if your force is currently a partner.)

Participants from other UK forces and international ones are also welcome to apply and places will be allocated on availability.

A link to the MS Teams event will follow nearer the time, as part of your joining instructions.



Booking is essential and is being taken through Eventbrite.

A link to the MS Teams event will follow nearer the time, as part of your joining instructions.

Register now


Additional Information

The full programme can be viewed here: 


The abstracts and bios can be viewed here: 

Abstracts & bios

Microsoft Teams FAQs can be viewed here: 

MS Teams FAQs

Please see below what Dr Emma Williams, Director of Research and Strategic Partnerships at the Centre, has to say about the conference:

Please see below what Andy Rhodes, who recently retired as Chief Constable of Lancashire police, has to say about the conference:


Please see below what Dr Paul Walley, Director of Learning at the Centre, has to say about the conference:


Please see below what Dr Steven Chase, Director of People at Thames Valley Police and CPRL Chair, has to say about the conference:


Please see below what Dr Nick Caveney, Chief Superintendent at Hertfordshire Constabulary and CPRL Vice Chair, has to say about the conference:



Meet Dr Rasha Kassem, an OU academic working in partnership with the Centre

Dr Rasha Kassem recently joined the OU as an academic working in the Faculty of Business and Law and is keen to calloborate with the Centre on research around fraud and financial crime.

8th November 2021
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