Five PhD students were invited to take part in West Yorkshire Police’s Keep Educating Yourself

POSTGRADUATE researchers from the University of Huddersfield have been praised by West Yorkshire Police (WYP) for their excellent work when they shared their knowledge and expertise with police officers as part of a WYP career development initiative.

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Police Inspector Andrew Lockwood (left) from West Yorkshire Police and Huddersfield Researchers (l-r) Zaf Shah, Tim Dlamini, Donna Eliot, Monika Baylis and Dara MojtahediPolice Inspector Andrew Lockwood (left) from West Yorkshire Police and Huddersfield researchers (l-r) Zaf Shah, Tim Dlamini, Donna Elliott, Monika Baylis and Dara Mojtahedi

Monika Baylis, Tim Dlamini, Donna Elliott, Dara Mojtahedi and Zaf Shah are PhD students who have delivered individual sessions as part of a programme to provide inputs to Keep Educating Yourself (KEY) run by WYP, which links to the modern approach known as evidence based policing (EBP) where academics and police collaborate together by exchanging ideas, knowledge, best practice related to current issues of policing in general. 

The KEY programme was devised by Police Inspector Andrew Lockwood in 2016 and is part of a talent support scheme for promising WYP officers and staff to take part in when they want to apply for a promotion and therefore continue their professional development.

This is the first year Huddersfield researchers have taken part and the feedback they had received from those who attended the sessions has been excellent.  

Police Inspector Andrew Lockwood

Criminology researcher Monika Baylis was the first to present her research and spoke about the policing of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) among young people in England and Poland.  This was good preparation because shortly after Monika presented the same research at the British Society of Criminology Conference 2017 with a paper entitled Police discretion on ASB – Polish and English approaches.

Tim Dlamini is completing a PhD in Psychology and his contribution to the KEY initiative was to ask the police officers: ‘How can we all play our role to ensure people with dementia live safely in our community?’.  In his talk, he advice on dementia awareness and its impact to the person living with the condition, families and the broader community.

The session delivered by Donna Elliott, a Psychology researcher, looked at increasing autism acceptance and the understanding of the complexities and individuality of this spectrum of disorders.  Followed by an overview of Donna’s research with the visual interview tool Pictor and its use as a facilitation toolkit for those experiencing Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families.

The trustworthiness of eyewitness reports was the topic of the session by Dara Mojtahedi, a PhD candidate and Lecturer in Investigative Psychology at the University.  He delivered a talk on the malleability of human memory and explained how easily the recollections of eyewitnesses could be distorted and influenced by external sources of information.  He concluded with a Q&A session where officers discussed ways in which investigators could aim to reduce the risks of co-witness influence.

The final presentation was conducted by criminology researcher Zaf Shah who gave the officers a greater understanding of extremist narratives and their relevance to the radicalisation of British Muslims and underpinned the norms and behaviours of a violent Islamist.

Inspector Lockwood hopes to offer more researchers the opportunity to present their work as part of the KEY initiative because of the ever-increasing need for officers to continually develop their knowledge base and portfolios.