Research Activities

Practitioner Fellowships

The effectiveness of police negotiator training

Chief Inspector Andy Brown Deputy Head of Leadership & Professional Development Scottish, Police College

Personal profile of Andy Brown...


  • Systematic literature review on the effectiveness of police negotiator training and their operational deployment.
  • Research, analyse and evaluate the perceived effectiveness of the national Police Hostage/Crisis Negotiator Training at the Scottish Police College.
  • Research, analyse and evaluate the perceived effects of operational deployment of trained Police Negotiators to incidents of attempted suicide/self harm with the subjects of such action.

Planned Activities:

  • In relation to objective one:
    • Systematic literature review of on police negotiator training.
  • In relation to objective two:
    • Liaise with Training & Educational Standards Division of the Scottish Police College to collate completed evaluations of the national Hostage/Crisis Negotiator course.
    • Through a semi-structured questionnaire, interview operational Police Negotiators to evaluate the benefits of the training as they impact upon their operational duties.
  • In relation to objective three:
    • Describe the recent "epidemiology" of critical incidents where Police Negotiators have been deployed to attempted suicide/self harm incidents over the period 2005 to 2008 inclusive (315 incidents).
    • Establish links with Scottish Executive Choose Life, the national strategy and action plan to prevent suicide in Scotland(December 2002), specifically "Responding to Immediate Crisis" defined as " providing support and services to people at risk and people in crisis, to provide an immediate crisis response and to help reduce the severity of any immediate problem" and "Knowing What Works", defined as "improving the quality, collection and availability of information on issues relating to suicide and suicidal behaviour and on effective interventions to ensure the better design and implementation of responses and services and use of resources".
    • Through a semi - structured interview with the subjects of attempted suicide/self harm evaluate the perceived effect of deploying Police Negotiators.
    • Evaluate the perceived effectiveness of the operational deployment of Police Negotiators to incidents of attempted suicide/self harm and determine the critical factors which influence outcome.

Key Outputs:

  • Objective one - literature review to establish what is already known about the "epidemiology" of such incidents, their features and outcome, etc.
  • Objective two - complete evaluation of national Hostage/Crisis Negotiator training to Kirkpatrick Level 4 to give an evidence base for the current training at the Scottish Police College. Results will be formally reported to the ACPOS Negotiator Sub Group and to the current training provided at the Scottish Police College.
  • Objective three - provide a formal report to the ACPOS Business Area of Operational Policing and Personnel & Training and to the Scottish Executive "Choose Life" - SIREN (Suicide Information Research and Evidence Network) and to Lord Alderdice's report on suicide for the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
  • Presentations at relevant professional meetings and a submission to a peer - reviewed journal.

Chief Inspector Andy Brown was awarded a Fulbright Police Research Fellowship in 2011, and spent five and a half months from November 2011 to April 2012 conducting research and lecturing in the United States with the FBI, New York Police Department and John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York. He has shared his Fulbright experience in a 'blog', which makes fascinating reading.