Global cities bring into sharp focus the challenges facing all police in the 21st century. The Institute for Global City Policing will address these challenges through its research and teaching.
The Institute for Global City Policing (IGCP) is an independent centre based at the UCL Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science, funded and managed in partnership with the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC).
Global cities are centres of social, economic and political influence. Major conurbations such as London, Beijing, Hong Kong, New York, Paris and Tokyo are highly integrated into the world economy, maintain heavy concentrations of financial, cultural and other forms of capital, host centres of political power, and are home to some of the best educational, legal, medical and entertainment facilities in the world. Issues of crime and disorder in global cities bring into sharp focus the challenges facing all police in the 21st century. Community safety and local policing are essential to maintaining their status and influence; yet at the other extreme international events often have major implications. Particular policing challenges faced by global cities include reducing harm and vulnerability, financial crime, cybercrime, terrorism, and public confidence, community cohesion and public order.
The IGCP exists to conduct original research focused on two main areas: policing practice and 'real life' learning; and to enable the mutual exchange of information and knowledge between academia and policing services via the network of London universities - including contributing to police training and professional development.
For further details on the IGCP, its work and potential partnerships, please contact the Director, Professor Ben Bradford.
From coercion to consent: social identity, legitimacy and a process model of police procedural justice.
Researchers at the IGCP, alongside partners at Keele University and the London School of Economics, are currently engaged on a major ESRC-funded research programme which aims to improve relationships between police and communities. From coercion to consent: social identity, legitimacy and a process model of police procedural justice (CONSIL) draws from Procedural Justice and Social Identity theories and aims to expand upon existing understanding about police-public encounters.
The research team is working closely with policing partners in three of the UK’s largest police forces – the Metropolitan Police, West Midlands and West Yorkshire – observing routine interactions between the police and the public and conducting interviews with the people involved in those encounters (as police, subject or observer) to interpret how they are experienced, processed, and judged. A second strand of the project will involve production of a series fully immersive Virtual Reality vignettes, showing a variety of police-public interactions, that will be used in a series of experimental studies. The knowledge produced from CONSIL will be of benefit in terms of reducing the likelihood of police coercion and improving police public relationships, particularly regarding marginalised groups.
Researchers: Prof Ben Bradford
Public perceptions of armed police
The British police, famously, operate largely unarmed, and have done since the inception of the Metropolitan Police in 1829. However, recent terror attacks and an increase in serious violent crime have prompted moves to arm more officers and make armed police more visible on the streets. Very little is known about how such developments might be received by the public, or about how people judge whether arming more police is appropriate.
This project, co-funded by MOPAC and the IGCP, comprises the first ever in-depth academic study of public reactions to armed police. The project will use survey-based and experimental methods to explore how people think about armed police, whether they support the arming of more officers, and whether armed more police might bolster, or undermine, trust and legitimacy. The first output from this project can be found in the journal Policing and Society.
Researchers: Dr Julia Yesberg and Prof Ben Bradford
A process evaluation of organizational justice reform in two police organizations
This project, funded by the Open Society Foundations, will involve working with colleagues from the Vera Institute of Justice in the US to conduct a comparative process evaluation of two parallel reform processes, one undertaken by a police force in the UK and one by force in the US. More details will be forthcoming later in 2019.
Researchers: Dr Jyoti Belur and Prof Ben Bradford
Social media: An accelerant for gang-related violence in London
This project aims to test whether social media has been an accelerant in the escalation of recent gang-related violence in London. Specifically, the research will use machine learning tools to look at the content of gang-related ‘drill music’ music videos and their associated comments on YouTube to determine whether there is an increased activity or change in the language before, and after incidents of gang violence (e.g. homicides and stabbings). To do so, the research will employ advanced statistical modelling techniques, linguistic temporal trajectory and forecasting analyses to test whether increased engagement with content on YouTube (e.g. increased number of comments) and changes in the language (e.g. the sentiment in the videos and comments) are related to gang-violence incidents in the past 12 months in London. The findings could be significant for policing policy.
Researchers: Dr Bennett Kleinberg and Dr Paul McFarlane
Julian Laufs: Identifying opportunities for crime prevention in smart cities and evaluating their social acceptability.
Calum Handforth: Behavioural science and its application to policing
Researchers in the IGCP teach on the Department of Security and Crime Science postgraduate taught programmes, particularly on the MSc Policing. They also contribute to the BSc Security and Crime Science, and will be closely involved in the new BSc Professional Policing.
Dr Tom Davies
Dr Nathalie Koster
Arthur Rizer (George Mason University)
Dr Suzanne Shale (London Policing Ethics Panel)
Dr Priya Singh (London Policing Ethics Panel)
Dr Julia Yesberg (MOPAC)
Since the IGCP's launch in 2017, we have run several public events, some of which are listed below. For upcoming events, visit the JDI events feed.
- Institute for Global City Policing Annual Lecture, 29th November 2018: Professor Susan McVie, University of Edinburgh spoke on “Changing patterns of violent crime: The impact of policy, policing and digital transformations”.
- ‘Getting Policing Right’ seminar on 4th June, 2018: Professor Kristina Murphy, Dr Jacques de Maillard and Arthur Rizer. You can listen to a recording of this seminar.
- Institute for Global City Policing Annual Lecture, 15th November 2017: Professor Ben Bradford, University College London spoke on “Policing in diversity”.
Our academics can offer consultancy in the following areas:
- Understanding police-community relations
- Public trust, procedural justice and police legitimacy
- Police training, leadership and management
- Gender and crime
- Systematic reviews
- Process and outcome evaluations
- Covert policing, surveillance and human intelligence