The SIPR Scottish International Policing Conference has become a key event in the SIPR calendar and we are disappointed that we are unable to host a physical event this year. However, SIPR is keen to provide a space where academics, practitioners, and policy makers can come together to share learning and exchange ideas on key policing issues and research priorities.
In lieu of our annual conference, this year SIPR will be organising an online event.
The purpose of the event will be to bring together academics, practitioners and policy makers to discuss research priorities and develop project ideas.

The focus of this event will be on the ‘Future of Policing’ to tie in with the launch of our ‘Future of Policing’ research grant. This grant will seek applications for research projects focussed on addressing and exploring the challenges and emerging issues related to the future of Policing within Scotland, but which may also have relevance internationally.

Future of policing projects should also align with the three SIPR Strategic Research Themes:

  • Policing and health, safety and well-being (e.g. role of policing within the wider system);
  • Technology and digital policing (e.g. digital transformation and cyber); and
  • Policing systems capability and resilience (e.g. workforce and demand).

These themes have been developed in collaboration with Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority, and align with policing priorities for Scotland (see the Joint Strategy for Policing 2020 and Strategic Police Priorities for Scotland).

We are particularly keen to encourage anyone with an idea for research to come along and bring your idea for discussion and development. If you would like to submit an idea for discussion at one of the breakout sessions, please complete the relevant questions in the eventbrite form. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch at

Running Order

The event will run from 10:00 and finish around 13:00
Participants will be able to log in through a WebEx link provided closer to the time.
10:0010:10Welcome with formal launch of Future of Policing Research GrantDr Liz AstonSIPR
10:1510:30'Future of Policing' Discussion PanelDavid CrichtonScottish Police Authority
   Kirsty-Louise CampbellPolice Scotland
   Gill ImeryHMICS


'Taking the Longview: Policing into 2040'

Nic PoleCollege of Policing
  Session 1: Policing and health, safety and well-beingBarry SillersSPA
  Chair: Professor Lesley McMillanSupt Tim RossPolice Scotland
   Supt Helen HarrisonPolice Scotland


 Notetaker: Rachel Edmond, Police Scotland

John FirmanUniversity of America
  Session 2: Technology and digital policingMartin SmithSPA
  Chair: Dr Megan O'NeillTom NelsonSPA Forenic Services
   Davina FeredayPolice Scotland
   Notetaker: Jean CassellsJames J WillisGeorge Mason University
  Session 3: Policing systems capability and resilienceDarren PatersonSPA
  Chair: Professor Denise MartinInsp Claire BoydPolice Scotland
   Notetaker: Judith Northin, Police ScotlandVictoria HerringtonAIPM
12:3013:00Closing session including summary of discussion points and Q&A session


Dr Liz Aston, SIPR Director, Edinburgh Napier University

Dr Liz Aston has been an active member of the SIPR research community since its establishment and she was appointed as Director of SIPR in June 2018, succeeding its founding Director, Prof Nick Fyfe. She has recently been appointed by the Scottish Government to chair an Independent Advisory Group on New and Emerging Technologies in Policing.

Liz has a a strong record of collaborative research on local policing both in Scotland and in Europe, including involvement in major international projects on community policing and stop and search. She is also highly experienced in knowledge exchange and in building strong research-practitioner relationships. She is an Associate Professor of Criminology and was, until her SIPR appointment, Head of Social Sciences at Edinburgh Napier.

David Crichton, Interim Chair of the Scottish Police Authority

David joined the Authority in June 2018 and he has held a number of non-executive positions in the public, private and charity sectors. David was Chair of NHS Health Scotland from 2016 until 31 March 2020. He is also a current member of the Scotland Committee of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, having been appointed in January 2017.

Prior to his public appointments, David worked as an international development advisor for nine years, primarily in Afghanistan and Montserrat and also in Tanzania and the Balkans. He was also previously Director for Country and Economic Research at the Economist Intelligence Unit, Chief Executive of the Confederation of Forest Industries and Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian.

Kirsty-Louise Campbell, Head of Strategy Insight and Innovation, Police Scotland

Kirsty-Louise Campbell, Head of Strategy and Innovation at Police Scotland, is an experienced leader, developing successful strategy, insight, innovation and transformation across a number of sectors.  Experience includes leading the successful re-design and transformation of a major public sector body and leading award winning strategy and insight services.  In Police Scotland, Kirsty-Louise has developed the overarching strategic outcomes for policing along with new strategies for public contact and engagement and cyber along with building capability and capacity in policing for public engagement, insight and innovation. 

Gill Imery QPM, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland

Since April 2018, Gill has been Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland, which is an independent role under Royal Warrant. She is also Scotland’s senior advisor on policing. The Inspectorate has wide ranging powers to assess the state, effectiveness and efficiency of both Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority.  Immediately prior to this appointment, Gill was the deputy at HMICS for two years, on secondment from Police Scotland. 

Over her 30 years of police service, she served in a wide range of uniform and detective posts, notably as the commander of the city of Edinburgh division, and the head of CID for Lothian and Borders Police.  When Police Scotland was introduced in 2013, she served in a national role as the Detective Chief Superintendent for public protection and local crime, before taking command of the Lothians and Scottish Borders division.

Nicholas Pole, Principal Analyst (Futures), College of Policing

Nic Pole is one of the authors of the College of Policing’s recent futures report ‘Policing in England and Wales: Future Operating Environment (FOE) 2040’. FOE 2040 explores how policing’s operating environment might change over the next 20 years and considers what that change might mean for policing today.

As the College’s lead on futures work, Nic and his team use ‘futures’ concepts, theories and methods to map possible future developments in order to inform present-day decision-making.

Professor Lesley McMillan, SIPR Associate Director for Public Protection Network, Glasgow Caledonian University

Lesley McMillan is Professor of Criminology and Sociology at Glasgow Caledonian University; she is SIPR Associate Director for the Public Protection Network. Her research interests surround gender inequality and crime and justice. In particular, she is interested in institutional responses to gendered and sexual violence, including policing, forensic medical examination and evidence, and victim experience. She also has a research interest in violence prevention, and the use and role of technology in sexual violence perpetration, intervention and prevention. She has an ongoing interest in missing persons, adult protection and mental health, and is a qualified BACP psychotherapist.

Barry Sillers, Deputy Chief Executive of Strategy and Performance, Scottish Police Authority

Barry’s career is best described as the development and delivery of strategic change across UK and NATO miltary operations, the NHS, Health and Social Care and Policing. Barry joined the Police Authority in January 2019 from the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board where he led the development of the Future Strategy for Health and Social Care. His early career as an Royal Naval Officer saw varied service ranging from operational action in Bosnia, through the “cold war” leading submarine operations in support of the UK strategic deterrent and intelligence gathering programmes, to later specialising in the insertion and recovery of special forces. In 2006, Barry joined NATO in a senior post with responsibility for the combat readiness of the NATO Response Force and was subsequently awarded the NATO Meritorious Service medal by the Secretary General for his outstanding contribution to NATO.

In 2008, Barry joined the senior team in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde where he was responsible for the Board’s hospital transformation programmes. Barry is also the Chair of Foundation Scotland, Scotland's Community Foundation, an independent charity established to build resilence and strengthen local leadership in communities which has distributed around £11 million each year to charities and community groups across Scotland. Foundation Scotland has played a leading role in Scotland's response to the COVID-19 pandemic being the sole partner to the National Emergencies Trust in Scotland and Chairing the cross sector Scottish Emergencies Funding Advisory Board.

Superintendent Tim Ross, Safer Communities, Police Scotland

Tim has been a police officer for 30 years and has served in a variety of roles and locations. In recent years, this has included being seconded to North Ayrshire Council as its Director of Community Safety and having responsibility for developing the partnership approach to policing in Ayrshire – in that capacity he was closely involved in Community Planning and promoting community wellbeing.

Tim is currently based in Police Scotland's Safer Communities Division, which is responsible for developing the Service's preventative approach to policing and enhancing partnership working. Tim is the policy lead for a number of business areas including the prevention of harm caused by substance use, and cybercrime.

Supt Helen Harrison, Head of International Development and Innovation Unit , Police Scotland

Helen has been a police officer for 17 years and has recently become the Head of the International Development and Innovation Unit.   She has responsibility for leading on non-operational international work, such as the development of capacity and capability building projects and building positive collaborative opportunities with police services and partners overseas. 

In her previous role, she was Superintendent in charge of operations within the Lothian and Scottish Borders Division, with responsibility for response and community policing, which included working to improve our local service to communities and better manage demand in relation to missing people and mental health. She has worked in various uniform roles, including Area Commander roles within Edinburgh where she was involved with developing strong local partnerships, community safety and enhancing local community relationships.

Professor John Firman (American University, USA)

John R. Firman is a Professor of Practice at American University, in the School of Public Affairs, Department of Justice, Law and Criminology. Prior to joining AU, he served as Director of Research (1994-2016), and Director of Strategic Partnerships (2016-2018) for the International Association of Chiefs of Police. IACP is one of the world’s largest and most influential police leadership organizations, with 30,000 members representing 120 countries. His duties included development and implementation of a national and international law enforcement policy research and evaluation program. He helped create and manage the National Law Enforcement Policy Summit Series, addressing current and emerging issues in the policing profession. 

Dr Megan O'Neill, SIPR Associate Director for Police-Community Relations Network, University of Dundee

Megan O'Neill is a Reader at the University of Dundee and has an extensive background of policing research with a focus on issues of social interaction in policing, both within the organisation and with the public and partners. Her work has included studies of football policing, Black Police Associations, community policing, partnership working and Police Community Support Officers. She is part of the Unity Project, funded by the European Commission's Horizon 2020 programme, to study community policing and its adaptation to the new challenges of policing neighbourhoods across the EU. She was appointed as the SIPR Associate Director for the Police-Community Relations Network in August 2018.

Martin Smith, Strategy Programme Lead, Scottish Police Authority

Martin is responsible for supporting the Authority’s strategic development and overall approach to commissioning research and evidence gathering activities and using insights from analysis to shape planning.  He has been at the Authority since 2015, having worked previously in a data analytics and strategic intelligence capacity in a number of UK police forces, including Police Scotland, Strathclyde Police, and Bedfordshire Police extending back to 2003.  His background prior to joining the world of policing is in social geography and demography, having been a Postgraduate Researcher at the University of Oxford’s Department of Social Policy and Social Work.

Tom Nelson, Director of Forensic Services, Scottish Police Authority

Tom has been a forensic scientist for more than 40 years and is a graduate of the Royal Society of Chemistry beginning his career at the Northern Ireland Forensic Science Laboratory where he developed a specialism in fire investigation and chemical analysis. In 1995, Tom moved to Scotland and later became Director of the Lothian and Borders Police Forensic Science Laboratory.

Tom was then appointed Director of the Forensic Services Scottish Police Service Authority (SPSA) in 2007 and worked with the Scottish Government, ACPOS, and the Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service to establish a 'crime-scene-to-court' model.    The unique Forensic Services SPA crime scene-to-court model provides robust support to the delivery of justice. A ‘sterile corridor’ is also in place between Forensic Services SPA and Police Scotland – which ensures impartiality and independence – key values in delivering forensic services throughout the criminal justice system. 

Tom transferred across to the Scottish Police Authority as Director of Forensic Services when the SPA was formed on 1 April 2013, and is also a former President of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, an international professional forensic body with members in more than 60 countries.

Davina Fereday, Research and Insight Manager, Police Scotland

Davina is an experienced Research Manager with over 20 years experience of working in consultancy and government. She is skilled in leading qualitative and quantitative research studies at a UK and city level and was recently appointed by Police Scotland to lead research and public engagement at the national and divisional level, supporting implementation of the long term police strategy and innovation. This includes extensive research into public experience of contacting the police and approaches to develop this, alongside measuring user satisfaction and engaging frontline officers and staff. 

Professor James Willis, Professor and Chair of Criminology, Law and Society, George Mason University

James' current research interests include an examination of the effects of different technologies on police organizations (including records management systems and body-worn cameras), the translation of police research into policy and practice, and assessing police decision-making at the street-level. Along with his co-authors, in 2008 he was awarded the Law and Society Association’s article prize for research that used different theoretical perspectives to explain Compstat’s implementation in three police departments. In 2011, he was the recipient of a George Mason University Teaching Excellence Award. He is a Senior Fellow in the Center for Evidence- Based Crime Policy, and he has served on the Police Foundation Advisory Committee and as a member of the Law and Social Sciences Senior Advisory Panel for the National Science Foundation.

Professor Denise Martin, SIPR Associate Director for Education and Leadership Network, Abertay University

Denise Martin has been Professor of Criminology at Abertay University since 2019.  Prior to this she worked at a number of insitutions including the Open University, UWS, University of Brighton and Middlsex University.  Her main research interests are in the area of policing and penology.  She has been involved in a range of research projects and evalutations and worked with a range of agencies, including the Home Office, Scottish Prison Service, Police Scotland, Mayors Office for Policing and Crime and National Police Chieif Council.  She is specifically interested in the intersection and Law Enforcement and Public Health and is part of the Special Interest Group for Education for GLEPHA.  She has been the Associate Director of the Education and Leadership Network for the Scottish Institute of Police Research since 2016 and is interested in Police Learning and Development and organisational culture and change.

Dr Victoria Herrington, Director of Knowledge, Australian Institute of Police Management

Dr Victoria Herrington is Director of Research and Learning at the Australian Institute of Police Management, a role she has held since 2011, prior to which she was Adjunct Professor at Western Sydney University. She is an applied criminologist, working at the intersect between the academic and public safety practitioner worlds. She is committed to supporting excellence in professional practice, and believes that academic insights from across a range of disciplines have much to offer those working in public safety. Her particular areas of interest include leadership and management, leader and leadership development, organisational justice, strategic policing partnerships, and the policing of vulnerable groups.

Darren Paterson, Head of HR Governance, Scottish Police Authority

Darren is an experienced HR professional, with approximately 20 years' experience, the majority of which has been gained within the public sector across health, local and national government sectors, during which time he has held roles leading organisational human resource management and health and safety functions; providing organisational development support in the establishment of new Health & Social Care Partnerships; and developing national workforce strategy and policy across NHS Scotland. Having joined the Scottish Police Authority in 2018, Darren is the Head of Workforce Governance, responsible for the development and implementation of workforce governance frameworks, and resulting strategic programmes of governance, scrutiny and audit, and providing strategic support and advice to SPA Members, to ensure the effective oversight and quality assurance of relevant Authority/Police Scotland activities. Key areas of interest and experience include workforce governance, strategic workforce planning, organisational development, employee engagement and wellbeing, and employee relations. Darren is a Member of the Chartered Institute for Personnel & Development and is also a qualified coach.

Inspector Claire Boyd, Analysis and Performance/Demand and Productivity, Police Scotland

Claire has been a police officer for 8 years and has recently moved to the Demand and Productivity Unit within Police Scotland where she is responsible for leading the team currently reviewing the next iteration of the RAM (Resource Allocation Model) to ensure it is fit for strategic resource decision making.  The RAM was developed in collaboration with PwC as part of the Local Policing Programme and provides a point in time’ calculation of total FTE required to meet demand underpinned by a demand baseline.

Prior to this Claire worked predominately in local policing both in rural and urban areas in response and community policing roles. Claire brings her knowledge of frontline operational delivery to the Demand and Productivity Unit to further improve understanding of police systems and soft data sources.