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The OU wins grant to create National Centre for Policing Research & Professional Development

The Open University (OU) has been awarded £1.36m of funding over 19 months from the Police Knowledge Fund, a joint initiative between The College of Policing, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the Home Office.

Leading an innovative national consortium of 12 police forces, police and crime commissioners, and the National Crime Agency, the OU is establishing a National Centre for Policing Research and Professional Development.

This pioneering collaboration and engagement between academics and practitioners aims to create a more professionalised police workforce, (both officers and staff at all levels), working with research evidence to improve policing practices.

The new National Centre draws on and develops a number of innovations, including the OU’s unique distance learning technologies that can deliver teaching at scale and the existing OU Policing Research Consortium, which is a partnership between the OU and the police to create and use research.

The Centre will help equip the police for existing and future challenges, by addressing three key objectives:

  • Provide online and face-to-face learning nationally via both informal and accredited materials
  • Advance police understanding through collaborative research projects
  • Embed understanding of evidence and mobilise change for improvement through evidence cafés, enquiry visits, lectures and workshops

The National Centre aims to make a substantial impact not only on research, teaching and learning, but also on policy and practice. By working in partnership with the College of Policing and UK police forces and national and international organisations, we will support a step change in policing research and professional development by contributing to the skills requirements of the future workforce.

Professor Jean Hartley, Director of the National Centre for Policing Research and Professional Development and Professor of Public Leadership at OUBS

This is an exciting opportunity to advance evidence based practice in policing and to make a significant contribution to the development of our officers and staff. I look forward to working with the OU and a range of other partners to strengthen the relationship between research and practice.

Dr Steven Chase, Chair of the Consortium, and Director of People at Thames Valley Police

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