Criminal investigation and higher education: a crossroads to an uncertain future

Murphy, R., Tong, S. and Underwood, R. (2011) Criminal investigation and higher education: a crossroads to an uncertain future. In: The Higher Education Forum for Learning and Development in Policing Conference, 6-7th September, 2011, University of Northampton. (Unpublished)

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This paper will examine the relationship between criminal investigation specialists and higher education. Recent attempts at professionalizing detectives have been made with the introduction of PIP (Professionalising Investigation Programme), with calls for professionalisation for the service as a whole. The increase in research in policing has been substantial over the last forty years. However, the focus of research has not been proportionally distributed across all policing activities with criminal investigation attracting far less interest in research than the interest in fictional and news media. The need for more research, and the co-ordination of knowledge generation in relation to crime investigation methodology and practices is an important feature of this aspiring profession. In this context the paper will explore the opportunities and barriers for collaboration and partnerships between universities and criminal investigators.

The analysis acknowledges the challenges to criminal investigation. Recent budget cuts and the increase in the use of the private sector in providing staff on short term contracts to assist with major investigations have added to the erosion of detective ‘status’ - from one that was held in high regard through to a specialism that has faced challenges in encouraging competition for officers to become detectives. Furthermore, the development of detective specialisms and the contribution of pre-employment learning and development have added further challenges in a rapidly changing field.

This paper suggests that criminal investigation is at a crossroads. It will argue that there is a need to indentify how policing learning and knowledge generation can be developed for the future. To support efforts in the professionalization of detectives the paper will argue that it is important that appropriate partnerships are developed between universities and police services in developing investigative skills among those who aspire to join the police service and engaging with research and knowledge generation to ensure new methodologies are developed and that the police are able to draw upon useful analysis in the continually changing investigative context in which they work.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV6001 Criminology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > Law and Criminal Justice Studies
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Dr Steve Tong
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2012 17:17
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2015 12:33

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00