Research and Policing in Times of Austerity

James Gravelle, Colin Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article considers the importance of independent research into the police organisation in times of austerity. By examining police organisational culture, the current economic climate and the recent change in government, the article illustrates the advantages for the police when engaging with external organisations for the purposes of research. Such engagement would assist in maintaining or increasing public confidence whilst also providing greater transparency and accountability. Using previous research experience as a benchmark, this article will highlight the particular difficulties in researching the police organisation. In times of austerity, budgetary constraints placed on the police service will have a significant impact on research and it is suggested that the police may retreat from external research, preferring instead either to conduct 'inhouse' research on a smaller scale or perhaps more likely to postpone research altogether. Cutting staff investment and research may only provoke the police service to return to former cultural enclaves, resulting in the police service becoming more insular and narrowly focused in its long-term objectives. As a result, the future of policing throughout the United Kingdom may become less assured and lead to a decrease in public support.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)528 - 539
Number of pages11
JournalThe Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010


  • economic downturn; organisational culture; police; research


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