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Policing project is financed by OU’s Covid-19 fund

Police officers wearing face masks

Mark Fenton-O’Creevy, Professor of Organisational Behaviour in the OU Business School, is leading on a project to research senior policing decision-making in the context of the radical uncertainties of the pandemic. Also involved in the project, which has been awarded an OU Covid-19 grant for £15,700, are Dr Nicky Miller and Dr Helen Selby-Fell in the Centre for Policing Research and Learning (CPRL).

This nine-month project will conduct case studies in two UK police forces and capture interview and archival data at a time when the crisis is still ongoing, and during a period of active early reflection and sensemaking. Professor Fenton-O’Creevy said: “The research will provide insight that can be drawn on to allow decision-makers to decide which strategies and actions worked during this time of radical uncertainty. The project has the potential for valuable impact on deliberations in policing organisations and national conversations about the organisation of policing, supporting learning from the crisis.”

Drawing on the CPRL’s network of 22 policing organisations and connections with the College of Policing and National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC), the team will embed impact throughout the project through joint sensemaking about emerging findings with the participating organisations and the wider CPRL network. The research also presents a good opportunity to deepen relationships with senior policing figures in the UK and will continue to position CPRL at the heart of debates about the future of policing.