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On the Agenda: Research into Social Interaction with the Police

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On the Agenda: Research into Social Interaction with the Police

Over the coming years, researchers at the Netherlands Police Academy will be conducting scientific research on the themes of the police organization, social interaction, police capacity, and the power to change. The research course for the coming four years is set out in the Strategic Research Agenda for the Netherlands Police 2023-2026.

​The Netherlands Police and the Netherlands Police Academy came together to consider the requirements in terms of knowledge and research. This resulted in a clear overview of the scientific research that will be conducted by or for the police. The Netherlands Police Academy conducts research itself, but also commissions research from others as part of the Netherlands Police and Science Research Programme (Knowledge and Research Committee). It also invites other knowledge institutions to contribute insights on the designated themes. This makes the Netherlands Police Academy even more of a key player (the proverbial 'spider in the web') when it comes to practice-oriented research for and into issues relating to the police and security.

Edwin Bakker, Head of Knowledge and Research at the Netherlands Police Academy, explains: "We want to understand what is needed, both now and in the future. For that reason, in drawing up this agenda we collaborated closely with the parties involved in our research studies and/or that use our research findings. To gain a comprehensive overview of the police’s research needs, we carried out interviews with various parties, such as police employees, employees of educational institutions, and external researchers in the security domain, but also employees of the Public Prosecution Service and the Ministry of Security and Justice. By taking their needs into account, we can generate new knowledge that meets those needs, and that can actually be used in teaching and professional practice. In this way, the Netherlands Police Academy contributes to a safer society and to even more effective policing."

Knowledge tables

One new element of the Strategic Research Agenda is the ambition to further develop the research lines within the triangle of operational policing (practice), education/teaching, and research by means of so-called 'knowledge tables'. On Tuesday 26 September 2023, for instance, we organized a knowledge table about diversity in police teams. Researchers, operational police officers, and colleagues involved in police education got together to discuss what knowledge is needed on this topic, and how research can contribute to generating this knowledge and making it available.

Centres of Knowledge

The Netherlands Police Academy has launched four Centres of Knowledge, in which knowledge professionals, professors, researchers, and police employees come together to develop and compile relevant knowledge for policing practice and police education, about topics such as community policing, criminal investigations, intelligence, and people in organizations. Each Centre of Knowledge has several themes (lines of research) that are explored in research by the researchers and professors of the Netherlands Police Academy. In this way, the lines of research fit with the themes of the Strategic Research Agenda.

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