Evidence-based models for Citizens in Policing

Matthew Callender, Iain Britton

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePaper


Police volunteering is an area of policing practice that has been relatively neglected in policy, professional and academic discourse. Volunteers play a significant although often little appreciated part in the policing of their communities. Despite the growing importance in England and Wales of volunteering in police, the evidence base for police volunteering remains very limited. The paper sets out a vision for an evidence-based future for police volunteering, and for a future in which voluntarism in policing is placed at the heart of wider thinking on police reform. The paper draws primarily on the initial findings from the first year of the evidence-based police volunteering research programme in England and Wales. The paper will set out to explore the evidence emerging from the research programme, being conducted across several police force areas. The programme focus is on ‘what works’ in terms of volunteers enhancing the impact of their volunteering for the local communities which they serve, and in terms of improving the experience for those who volunteer in policing. The paper will also reflect on initial findings from the national survey of Special Constables and Police Support Volunteers, conducted in January 2016 and with 3,000 responses from across England and Wales, and upon the results of the National Benchmarking Exercise, which represents the first comprehensive census and audit exercise ever undertaken across all police forces in England and Wales. A discourse of expansion in voluntarism is a feature in many England and Wales police forces and in national policy. The degree to which police volunteering is in reality achieving a less peripheral position in thinking on police reform or is expanding in numbers and impact remains questionable, and the paper will conclude by considering this strategic context.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2016
EventBritish Society of Criminology (BSC) Annual Conference - Nottingham Conference Centre
Duration: 8 Jul 2016 → …


ConferenceBritish Society of Criminology (BSC) Annual Conference
Period8/07/16 → …


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