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2021 Online Conference

"10 Challenges to Policing"

This year's conference took place online, with one session every Wednesday being broadcast live from 24th March 2021.

All the sessions have now been uploaded below for you to watch as a video on YouTube, or listen to as a podcast.

This Year's Speakers

24th March

Professor Lawrence Sherman

SEBP honorary president & University of Cambridge

Violence and Legitimacy: Two Key Challenges to Evidence-Based Policing

Professor Sherman is the Director of the Cambridge Centre for Evidence-Based Policing and the Wolfson Professor of Criminology Emeritus at the University of Cambridge. Professor Sherman is affiliated with the Institute of Criminology at the University of Cambridge, where he is the Director of the Police Executive Programme and a Director of the Jerry Lee Centre for Experimental Criminology.

Commander Alex Murray

SEBP chair & Metropolitan Police Service

Evidence Based Practice: How Is It The Answer to The Challenges Of Policing

Watch the video:

Listen as a podcast:

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31st March

Professor Jason Roach

Applied Criminology and Policing Centre, University of Huddersfield

Jason Roach is Professor of Psychology and Policing and Director of the Applied Criminology and Policing Centre, at the University of Huddersfield. He is also Editor-in-Chief for the Police Journal. Jason has co-written three books with Professor Ken Pease, including ‘Self-Selection Policing’ (2016) and over thirty book chapters and research papers on a range of crime and policing topics including; child homicide, criminal investigation, police decision-making, the nudge approach to reducing crime, criminal decision making and cold case investigation. Jason is the Editor-in Chief for ‘The Police Journal’, published by Sage.


Moving beyond ‘nudge’. How to reduce crime and influence people.

Unless you have been inhabiting another planet for the past ten years, then you are likely to be aware of Thaler and Sunstein’s ‘nudge’ approach to encouraging us humans into making more ‘prosocial choices’ (2008). Examples include’ nudging’ to help people give up smoking and to encourage people to donate their organs when they die (the former presumably prolonging a promise to do the latter). In terms of a means by which crime might be reduced, then the uptake of nudge continues to lag behind its application in health and social policy initiatives. It is suggested here, that this is primarily because there has been little advancement in nudge thinking in a crime reduction direction, nor has it become more bespoke to policing in the same way that it has for numerous public health issues. Several ideas for how nudge thinking might be advanced, by making it more in tune with policing are presented (e.g. NUDGE-IT), along with the suggestion that by moving current thinking beyond ‘nudge’ towards a broader ‘psychology of influence’ approach, this will be more appealing to those charged with reducing crime.

Watch the video:

Listen as a podcast:


7th April

Det. Supt Will Hodgkinson

Bedfordshire Police

Domestic abuse: how to protect effectively


Will worked in neighbourhoods, emergency response, CID, public protection and Intelligence within the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) before transferring to Bedfordshire as a Detective Superintendent heading up the Crime and Domestic Abuse areas of business. In the MPS, Will was the Lead Responsible Officer for Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Harassment.


In 2008, Will graduated from the University of Essex with a degree in Criminology and Sociology with a thesis mapping out crime and anti-social behaviour demand and a review of hot spots. In 2018, Will graduated from the University of Warwick with a Master’s degree and a thesis evaluating the application of ‘Lean thinking’ to the MPS approach to dealing with death investigations. In 2018, Will commenced his second Master's degree at the University of Cambridge and conducted a randomised controlled trial (RCT) testing audible alarm technology in high risk domestic abuse addresses across London.

Watch the video:

Listen as a podcast:

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14th April

Dr Krisztián Pósch

Department of Security and Crime Science

University College London

Krisztián Pósch is a lecturer in crime science at the Department of Security and Crime Science at the University College London. He is a visiting fellow at the Department of Methodology at the London School of Economics.

Joint talk: Police in the classroom: what really?


Professor Jonathan Jackson

London School of Economics

Jonathan Jackson is Professor of Research Methodology and Head of the Department of Methodology. He is an Honorary Professor of Criminology at the University of Sydney Law School and an Affiliated Scholar in the Justice Collaboratory of Yale Law School.

Watch the video:

Listen as a podcast:

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21st April

Supt Ryan Doyle

Devon and Cornwall Police  

Targeting missing persons most likely to come to harm

Superintendent Ryan Doyle is the Head of Criminal Justice and Custody with Devon and Cornwall Police, Founder and Chairman of the charity LHDiversity (commonly known as “Local Heroes”), and a Tedx speaker.


Ryan joined Thames Valley Police in 2003 and, following his probationary period, specialised in Public Protection (specifically Domestic Abuse and Hate Crime). In 2007, Ryan transferred into Devon and Cornwall Police and worked in both Response and CID, before becoming the Diverse Communities Team Leader in 2012. It was during this role that Local Heroes was created; a charity that has worked with Premier League football clubs and a host of Athletes and TV stars to inspire young people into social action that celebrates diversity and promotes inclusion. In October 2015, Ryan delivered his first TED talk at TEDx Totnes and has also delivered talks on inclusivity in leadership to senior leaders in HMPPS and a number of Dame Kelly Holmes Trust cohorts.


As a Public Order and Public Safety commander, Ryan has managed a number of incidents including Floods, military parades, high profile football matches and Royal visits, and is now part of the senior command team for the G7 Summit in Cornwall.


In 2020, Ryan completed an M.St in Applied Criminology and Police Leadership with the University of Cambridge. His thesis, “Targeting Missing Persons Most Likely to Come to Harm” was published the same year in an article co-authored by Dr Geoffrey Barnes.

Watch the video:




Listen as a podcast:

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28th April

Thomas Abt

Council on Criminal Justice

First let’s stop the bleeding: urban violence and what to do about it

Thomas Abt teaches, studies, and writes about the use of evidence-informed approaches to address urban gun violence and other public safety problems. He is the author of Bleeding Out: The Devastating Consequences of Urban Violence - and a Bold New Plan for Peace in the Streets, published by Basic Books in June 2019. Abt is a Senior Fellow with the Council on Criminal Justice in Washington, DC, where he directs the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice. Prior to the Council, he served as a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy and Law Schools. Before that, he held leadership positions in the New York Governor's Office and the U.S. Department of Justice. Abt’s work has been featured in major media outlets, including the Atlantic, the Economist, Foreign Affairs, the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, and National Public Radio. His TED talk on saving lives by stopping violence has received over 170,000 views.

Watch the video:


Listen as a podcast:


5th May

Prof. Tom Kirchmaier

Director Policing and Crime, Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics.

Professor Kirchmaier is the Director of the Crime and Policing programme at the Centre for Economic Performance, and Professor of Risk at the Copenhagen Business School. His interest is large-scale quantitative data analysis. He works very closely with all urban police forces (Met, GMP, WMP), as well as most other forces on the full spectrum of questions on policing and crime. Last year, he developed for and with the Home Office, an evaluation tool of police (Randomised Control) Trials, and previously worked on demand prediction work for HMICFRS and the NCA, amongst others.

Joint Talk: Productivity and Teamwork: Crew Size Effects in Policing

Dr. Matteo Sandi

Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics.

Dr Sandi is a Research Economist at the Centre for Economic Performance (LSE). Matteo completed his ESRC-funded PhD in Economics at the University of Sussex in June 2016. During his PhD, he worked with the World Bank Group studying the impact of migration policies on labour markets and school enrolment in developing countries. Matteo was awarded a UK Data Service Data Impact Fellowship in 2017 and he has been a member of the Experts Panel of the Youth Endowment Fund since 2019. Matteo's current areas of research are the determinants of crime, the crime-reducing effects of schooling, policing and public institutions, and the implications for students’ performance and criminal activity of the use of discipline sanctions in school.

Watch the video:

Listen as a podcast:


12th May

Dr. Renee Mitchell

Senior Police Researcher, RTI International, and co-founder of the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing  

The top 10 ways to challenge how the police should think

Renee J. Mitchell is an expert in policing research with a professional background in law enforcement. As a 22-year member of the Sacramento Police Department, she served in patrol, detectives, recruiting, schools, and the Regional Transit System. In 2009-2010, she was a Fulbright Police Research Fellow, studying juvenile gang violence at the London Metropolitan Police Service. She is the co-founder of the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing and serves on its executive committee.

Watch the video:


Listen as a podcast:

19th May

Professor Simon Harding

Professor in Criminology at University of West London

Urban youth violence: insights for police officers and policy makers

Simon is Professor in Criminology at University of West London (UWL) and Director of the National Centre for Gang Research at UWL.  He advises the Home Office, Metropolitan Police Service, National Crime Agency and HMICFRS on youth violence, gangs, knives and county lines.

Simon has over 35 years practitioner/professional experience in crime reduction partnerships and community safety including with the Home Office, Hackney council, Islington council and as Crime Reduction Director in Lambeth.  He has worked on over 2,500 UK social housing estates, authored numerous reports and in 1999 invented Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs).   

His books The Street Casino: survival in violent street gangs (2014) won the Frederick Thrasher Award for 2014 for Superior Gang Research.  Current research includes Moped Crime, Drill music, Acid Attacks, Knife Crime, County Lines.  His new book with Bristol University Press is County Lines: exploitation and drug dealing amongst urban street gangs. 

Watch the video:


Listen as a podcast:

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Inspector Andreas Varotsis

Metropolitan Police Service

The importance of a multi-disciplinary approach: How data science helps us understand policing & how policing helps us understand our own data

Andreas is an inspector in the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). He is also a Quantitative Crime Scientist, working in the Strategic Insights Unit, which is a multidisciplinary team at the Met providing analytical support to the Commissioner and Management Board of the MPS. The team combine advanced econometric and data science methods with randomised controlled trials, behavioural science and operational policing experience.


Andreas’ area of focus is quantitative modelling, drawing on both econometric and algorithmic tools of analysis, large datasets, and operational insight to provide high quality advice to the most senior decision makers in the MPS.


Andreas also has a particular interest in deploying disruptive technologies in policing, and helps coordinate Police Rewired, a community bringing together volunteers from the civic tech community and policing practitioners to prototype new tools to fight crime.

Watch the video:

Listen as a podcast:

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26th May

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