Event – N8 Policing Research Partnership and Police Foundation: Police Leadership Symposium

by | Mar 16, 2020 | 0 comments

N8 Policing Research Partnership and Police Foundation: Police Leadership Symposium – 16 September 2020, at the British Academy, London SW1Y 5AH.

In a period of social change, political uncertainty and technological innovation the police are being asked to take on a wide range of social problems and the demands confronting senior police leaders are increasingly challenging. Recruiting, developing and supporting police leaders fit for the future is a critical task.

This N8 Policing Research Partnership sponsored symposium aims to generate ideas and policy recommendations to support police leaders and enhance senior leadership within policing to better enable the police to meet and respond to contemporary challenges. It will draw together and build upon research evidence and some of the recent contributions to the debate about senior leadership in the police. The symposium is also sponsored by the University of Leeds via a grant from Research England to enhance policy engagement and supported by the Police Foundation as part of its Strategic Review of Policing in England and Wales. Due to the number of places available attendance is by invitation only.

The symposium will bring together experts with an interest in, and with responsibility for, police leadership, including senior police leaders, those responsible for police governance and oversight, and academics. The invited group will discuss the challenges to recruiting, developing and enhancing police leaders and how police leadership can contribute to police legitimacy. The session will also discuss how police leaders can work with the research community to take an evidence-based approach to policing, leadership and legitimacy. We will also consider the future of the critical relationship between chief police officers and those responsible for their oversight and direction. The discussions will be informed by the experience and expertise of all participants, and by research. Four brief papers, exploring the identified themes of the symposium, will be used as a starting point for conversations.

Themes and discussion papers

  1. Context and Challenge – Paper from The Police Foundation
  2. Legitimacy Leadership and Governance – Paper from Dr Ian Shannon, University of Leeds
  3. Leadership Recruitment and Development – Papers from Tom Gash, Institute of Government and Dame Sara Thornton, Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and former Chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council.
  4. Evidence Based Leadership – Paper from Professor Nigel Fielding, University of Surrey


The key issues and learning from this symposium will be published in an open access paper by The Police Foundation and the N8 Policing Research Partnership. The report will inform the independent Strategic Review of Policing being conducted by the Police Foundation and led by Sir Michael Barber. It will be of value to those working on responses to the recommendations of the HMICFRS (2019) Leading Lights thematic inspection and The College of Policing’s (2015) Leadership Review. The Symposium will also support the further development of links between academics and police leaders.

The Police Foundation is the UK’s policing think tank. It is the only independent body in the UK that researches, understands and works to improve policing for the benefit of the public.