Research Activities

Practitioner Fellowships

An asset based approach to community policing

Keith Jack Violence Reduction Unit, Police Scotland

  • Partner Universities: Glasgow Caledonian University and RGUd
  • Academic Supervisors: Dr Liz Frondigoun and Dr Rob Smith

Research Context and Objectives:

I propose to write up my practical experience of developing an asset based approach to community policing. This is based on my current role with the Violence Reduction Unit, where along with partners I have spent the last year working with residents and service providers in Hawkhill, Alloa. Traditional models of community tend to focus on what is wrong in a community and directing services to and at residents ( a defecits approach). Whilst this addresses the condition it often does little to work with people in addressing the causal factors.

An assets based approach looks to identify all the positives In a community, the "assets". The main asset in any community is it's residents, but assets can be anything which can be used in a positive way to develop a thriving healthy community. Through working in this people are encouraged and supported to get involved, as THE experts, developing meaningful respectful partnerships with service providers where their views and priorities are at the heart of decision making processes.

Working in this way has proven benefits to health and well being,reduced crime levels, increased perception of safety in the community, social connectedness and residents having a sense of control over their future, rather than being passive recipients of services.

I intend creating a concise record of my work and the challenges along the way. I envisage this will create a reference for other officers or community members who may be considering setting up an asset based approach in their community. As such I hope to include testimony from local residents and partners, which should create a comprehensive and useful document.

Planned Activities :

I spend the majority of my working week developing the approach and as such base myself within the heart of the community. The activity required to complete the fellowship will be drawn from my daily routine and will not require any further plan or resource. It will adopt an ethnographic/documentary methodological approach.

My objectives will be to:

  • explain the background to the asset based approach, what it is, the theory behind its aims, the link to current government thinking around enabling communities and putting residents at the heart of community and decision making processes;
  • conduct a literature search to highlight other asset based approaches currently under way;
  • describe the practicalities of setting up an asset based approach;
  • identify the support attributes needed to enable individuals to achieve their potential such as motivation and leadership;
  • identify what the likely outcomes are.