Journal Article

A ‘Mirror’ and a ‘Motor’: Researching and Reforming Policing in an Age of Austerity

Martin Innes

in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice

Volume 4, issue 2, pages 127-134
Published in print January 2010 | ISSN: 1752-4512
Published online February 2010 | e-ISSN: 1752-4520 | DOI:
A ‘Mirror’ and a ‘Motor’: Researching and Reforming Policing in an Age of Austerity

Show Summary Details


This article explores the role of academic research in police reform efforts set against an increasingly challenging public policy funding climate. It suggests that research evidence can promote change through two principal pathways. Research as a ‘mirror’ seeks to reflect back to police the complexities of the police operating environment and how policing interventions in it are conducted, to promote enhanced understanding of their role and impacts. Alternatively, research can also function as a ‘motor’ for change, where reform is the explicit motivating intention. Drawing upon the author’s experiences, some of the challenges of developing an applied science approach are discussed and some potential solutions to these challenges described.

Journal Article.  4103 words. 

Subjects: Policing

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