Karen Bullock

Professor Karen Bullock

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Academic and research departments

Department of Sociology.



Research interests


Postgraduate research supervision


Karen Bullock, Jon Garland, Michael Rowe (2023)Researching Challenging Issues, In: Denise Martin, Stephen Tong (eds.), Introduction to Policing Researchpp. 94-107 Routledge

In recent years several events have damaged policing legitimacy in the eyes of the public in England and Wales, including the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard by a police officer serving in the Metropolitan Police Service in 2021 and the series of damning reports from investigations into police occupational cultures and working practices that followed. In addition, it is now nearly 25 years since the publication of the Macpherson Report into the police investigation of the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence which was supposed to be a watershed in the policing of diversity. It therefore seems prescient to turn attention to matters related to researching the policing of diversity once more. However, this is a particularly challenging area of police work to research. This chapter introduces readers to some key themes, considerations, and difficulties of conducting fieldwork in this area of policing. It begins with considering conceptual issues and problems and then examines the task of generating data that represents the values, attitudes, and behaviour of police staff about how they understand and implement diversity policing. Including examples from research conducted over 25 years by the authors, the chapter examines issues such as gaining access to, and trust of, police services, as well as the researcher's presentation of the self once in the field. The chapter also assesses issues relating to making the best use of official statistics and other data when researching policing diversity. It suggests that while researching the policing of diversity can be very challenging it can ultimately be rewarding to shine a light on this important area of contemporary policing.

Francesca Menichelli, Karen Bullock, Jon M Garland, Jonathan Allen (2024)Policing universities: exploring the use of body-worn cameras (BWCs) by private campus security officers, In: Policing and Society Routledge

Body-worn cameras (BWCs) are widely used across the public and private sectors, including in law enforcement, education, and transport. An extensive body of work exists on the use of BWCs by the public police and their impacts on officers and citizens' behaviours. In contrast, literature on the use of BWCs use in private security is very limited. Even more so is research on the use of BWCs by private security on university campuses. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with campus security officers and senior management in a university in the United Kingdom (UK), this paper investigates how and why BWCs were initially introduced, how they are used and with what outcomes. We find that adoption of the cameras was to strengthen the professionalism and credibility of officers and their ability to collect evidence. In practice, camera use is infrequent and concentrated on specific days and times of the week. BWC footage is prominently used in the investigation of alleged violations of university regulations, and it has become a tool to hold students accountable for their behaviour in a way that was not possible before the adoption of the cameras. The study offers an important contribution to our understanding of the operation and outcomes of private security on university campuses and, more specifically, the role of BWCs in these.

K. Bullock, Marialaura Di Domenico, G. M Miller, Z. Shirgholami, Y. Wong (2024)Under the radar? Modern slavery and labour exploitation risks for the hotel industry, In: Tourism management (1982)102104857 Elsevier Ltd

The UK's tourism and hospitality industries, having the highest concentration of migrant workers compared to other industries, face complex challenges in managing the risks of labour exploitation and modern slavery (MS); issues largely neglected in academic research. New employment models risk weakening workers' power in employment relations, potentially leading to increased vulnerability and exploitation risk. Based on analysing primary and secondary sources, this article examines the nature of these risks. Our findings show the following drivers: power imbalances; possible enforcement gaps; normalisation and moralisation of possible exploitation; and potential threats posed by macro-level political and socioeconomic issues/events; these, including more competitive labour markets, paradoxically also present opportunities. We develop significant, novel theoretical contributions and propose the new ‘(in)conspicuous exploitariat’ concept, encapsulating their (dis)empowerment, and potential future risks/opportunities. The research advances theory, with implications for policy and practice, for both the UK and the international tourism and hospitality industries.

This article examines practitioner understandings and implementation of gender-responsive support within female prisons in England and Wales in the context of a growing emphasis on effective deportation of foreign national prisoners. Drawing on a case study of female prisoners from Central and Eastern states of the European Union (EU), we argue that the aims of gender-responsivity, designed to address women's gendered vulnerabilities to support their re-entry in the UK, are pragmatically re-shaped to accommodate the uncertainty surrounding their immigration status. We show how in practice, gender-responsive support functions at best to ‘manage’ gendered needs of women who are ‘not of interest’ to immigration authorities, and at worst to legitimate exclusion by side-lining vulnerabilities of women deemed as having ‘no right to remain’ in the UK. This occurs in the context of limited access to legal redress to challenge deportation decisions, unevenly spread resources in the female prison estate, and practitioners’ occupational cultures which emphasise paternalistic valuations of female foreign national prisoners’ femininity. We locate the findings in criminological debates about ‘gendering of borders’ and conclude with a reflection on the implications for advocacy at the time of increasingly restrictive immigration controls following the UK's exit from the EU.

Karen Bullock, Aiden Sidebottom, Gloria Laycock, Nick Tilley (2022)The diffusion of police innovation: A case study of problem-oriented policing in England and Wales, In: International journal of police science & management24(4)pp. 397-405

There is significant evidence demonstrating that when done well, problem-oriented policing is associated with meaningful reductions in crime and public safety concerns. And yet, history shows that the implementation and delivery of problem-oriented policing is challenging, and that police organisations have generally not adopted it and even when they try to it is often rejected over time. This article draws on the concept of ‘diffusion of innovation’ (Rogers, E. (2003) Diffusion of Innovations, 5th edn. New York: Free Press) to unpick aspects of the processes through which problem-oriented policing has been adopted or otherwise among police forces in England and Wales. This article shows how factors related to the nature of problem-oriented policing – notably its incompatibility with prevailing norms and values of the police service, its complexity and unobservability – have influenced its adoption. Implications are also discussed.

KAREN ANNE BULLOCK, JON M GARLAND, Freya Coupar (2020)Police-community engagement and the affordances and constraints of social media, In: Policing and Society Routledge

This article provides an analysis of the ‘affordances’ and ‘constraints’ of technology-mediated police-community engagement in the United Kingdom (UK). Whilst there has been optimism that social media may transform police communicative practice and help democratise policing, studies suggest that this potential has yet to be realised. Drawing on in-depth interviews with communications professionals, the article demonstrates that social media may afford constabularies visibility, editability, and association. However, organisational, individual and technological factors influence whether these affordances are achieved. This article adds to the literature by demonstrating how citizen engagement with mediated communication is not inevitable. It is instead a product of what the technology affords, the relationship between the technology and its users, and the context within which it is used.

Aiden Sidebottom, Karen Bullock, Rachel Armitage, Matt Ashby, Caitlin Clemmow, Stuart Kirby, Gloria Laycock, Nick Tilley (2020)Problem-Oriented Policing in England and Wales 2019 Problem Solving and Demand Reduction Programme

‘Problem-oriented policing’ (POP) is an approach for improving police effectiveness. In the United Kingdom (UK), it is also referred to as ‘problem-oriented partnerships’ or ‘problem solving policing’. Problem-solving policing calls for the police to focus not on individual incidents but on problems - defined as recurrent clusters of related incidents that affect the community. It advocates a structured process whereby the police (1) systematically identify persistent problems, (2) undertake in-depth analysis to determine the conditions giving rise to these problems, (3) devise and implement tailored responses and (4) work out if the chosen responses were effective. At its simplest, POP outlines a method for dealing with localised problems. In its most general sense, it outlines an approach for how the police operate.Problem-solving has been widely adopted by police forces in the UK and internationally.Successive reviews, case studies and experiments have shown POP to be an effective way of reducing crime and disorder. Yet despite extensive evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of problem-solving, research also identifies recurrent challenges both in the implementation and practice of a problem-oriented approach. Consequently, POP has not become a persistent feature of policing in the UK.In 2017, South Yorkshire Police received a £6.35 million grant from the Home Office Police Transformation Fund (PTF). The grant was to support the delivery of a three-year national project (2018-2020) intended to reduce demand on the police service by promoting,facilitating and advancing problem-solving among police and partner agencies in England and Wales. The project was named the Problem Solving and Demand Reduction Programme(hereafter referred to as the PSDRP). This report presents the findings of a mixed methods study undertaken in support of the PSDRP. The purpose of the study was threefold:To determine the extent, nature, patterns and quality of police problem-solving in Englandand WalesTo identify obstacles and enablers to the implementation, spread and practice ofproblem-solvingTo elucidate the experiences and perspectives of those doing problem-solving.

Karen Bullock (2020)Research synthesis, systematic reviewing and evidence-based policing, In: N Fielding, K Bullock, S Holdaway (eds.), Critical Reflections on Evidence-Based Policingpp. 33-51 Routledge
Karen Bullock, Jon Garland (2020)Understanding the mental health and well-being of police officers Causes, consequences and responses to stressors in police work, In: JLM McDaniel, K Moss, K G Pease (eds.), Policing and Mental Healthpp. 241-253 Routledge
Melissa Pepper, Karen Bullock, Daniel McCarthy (2022)Exploring the Role and Contribution of Police Support Volunteers in an English Constabulary, In: Policing : a journal of policy and practice15(4)pp. 2015-2028 Oxford Univ Press
Karen Bullock, Jon Garland (2023)Policing Rural Crimes and Rural Communities in England, In: International journal of rural criminology8(1)pp. 41-58

This article examines factors that influence the processes and practices of crime prevention and investigation in rural areas of England. Whilst evidence shows that rural crime is a significant problem, there has been hitherto a dearth of research into how the issue is policed. Drawing on the perspectives of police personnel, this article examines the features of the rural environment and the organisation and management of police services that influence the delivery of police work in rural areas of England. Specifically, the article considers factors that influence the reporting and subsequent recording of rural crimes; how police officers understand and perceive rural crimes; how police services prioritise crimes for preventative and investigative purposes; how responsibility for investigating rural crimes is diffused across law enforcement agencies and how this can cause confusion for officers; matters related to the generation of evidence; officer understanding of the legislation regarding rural crime; the willingness of officers to undertake the investigation of rural crimes and the reluctance of some to live in the countryside; and the organisation and management of police resources in rural areas. In so doing, it sets out the reasons why the policing of rural spaces is distinctive and considers implications for police work and its outcomes.

Liam Fenn, Karen Bullock (2021)How the interplay between organisational ?culture? and ?climate? shapes police officers? perceptions of community policing, In: International Journal of Police Science and Management SAGE Publications

This article draws on interview data and the concepts of organisational ‘culture’ and ‘climate’ to critically assess police officers’ perceptions of community policing in one English constabulary. In so doing, it considers the cultural, organisational and wider contextual determinants of officers’ alignment to this style of police work. With an emphasis on developing community partnerships and engaging in problem-solving, rather than enforcement of the criminal law, community policing has been seen a primary way of rendering officers more ‘responsive’ to the needs of citizens, improving police-community relations, and driving down crime rates. An important reform movement in police organisations around the world, the success of community policing nonetheless depends on officers’ willingness and ability to deliver it. Accordingly, the generation of evidence about the ‘drivers’ of officers’ attitudes to inform strategies to promote the delivery of the approach is essential. Findings suggest that officers value community policing as an organisational strategy but that the approach maintains a low status and is undervalued compared to other specialisms within the organisation. This is born of an organisational culture that foregrounds law enforcement as the primary function of police work and an organisational climate that reinforces it. This has implications for community officers in terms of their attitudes towards the approach, self-esteem and sense of value and worth, perceptions of organisational justice, discretionary effort and role commitment. Recommendations for police managers are set out.

KA Bullock (2010)Enforcing financial penalties: the case of confiscation orders, In: The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice49(4)09/201pp. 328-339

Financial penalties are the most widely used sentence in England and Wales, but present difficulties for enforcement. This article examines the enforcement of confiscation orders – a relatively poorly understood financial penalty. Drawing on interviews with actors in the confiscation order process this article examines the processes through which confiscation orders are enforced. It is argued that enforcement is the result of an interaction of factors which include the initial decision making of police officers, financial investigators and prosecutors; the accuracy of information about offenders' financial affairs; enforcement powers, intelligence and operational support; and, the behaviour and attitudes of the offender.

Karen Bullock (2017)The Mechanics of Reform: Implementing Correctional Programmes in English Prisons, In: The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice57pp. 3-20 Wiley

Delivering correctional programmes in the prison environment has proved challenging, and desired outcomes have not always been achieved. Drawing on interview data, this article considers the mechanics through which programmes are introduced into English prisons and how the environment shapes what is accomplished. We argue that the operation of programmes is influenced by institutional features (such as values, priorities and resources), situational features (such as the challenges posed by operating in the secure environment) and interactional factors (such as the attitudes of prison staff and the nature of programme-prison staff relations).

KA Bullock (2010)Generating and using community intelligence: the case of neighbourhood policing., In: The International Journal of Police Science and Management12(1)pp. 1-11 Vathek Publishing

This paper examines the role that community-generated information plays in neighbourhood policing, a key component of the UK police reform agenda. The neighbourhood policing agenda is concerned with the delivery of a consistent presence of dedicated neighbourhood teams which should be visible and accessible to the community. However, it also calls for the generation of community intelligence which should be used for local problem-solving and should be incorporated into National Intelligence Model (NIM) tasking. At the time of writing, the principle of incorporating information generated from the public into policing intelligence and priority setting thus has strong resonance, at least at the level of rhetoric of policy and practice. It is contended that difficult questions are posed in thinking through what it means to consult with the public, the nature of community-generated information and how it is translated into operational decisions and resource deployment. This paper explores the conceptual foundations of neighbourhood policing which are found in reassurance policing, problem-oriented policing and the National Intelligence Model. It then examines the current mechanisms for generating community information, prioritising problems, and delivering responses as they are applied in neighbourhood policing. It finishes with a critical discussion of the concept and practice of generating and using community information for setting local policing priorities.

K Bullock, RAL Meadows, I Brunton-Smith (2014)"DiscoverQuants": Integrating quantitative methods (QM) and substantive teaching for first year undergraduate sociology students., In: Enhancing Learning in the Social Sciences.6(2)pp. 6-20

This paper considers the rationale for, design and outputs of a project, based at the University of Surrey UK and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), which sought to integrate aspects of teaching substantive and Quantitative Methods (QM) teaching across first year sociology undergraduate programmes using a blended approach. The paper considers the nature of concerns regarding teaching QM within social science undergraduate programmes. It goes on to describe the rationale for this project, its design and its primary outputs. We consider a range of data related to student attitudes towards studying QM at university as well as their perspectives on the project and the implications for practice.

KA Bullock, N Tilley (2009)Born to fail?: policing, reform and neighbourhood problem-solving., In: The Police Journal82(2)pp. 117-133 Vathek Publishing

The issue of problem solving as a component of neighbourhood policing is an important and potentially highly problematic one. The UK government claims in its 2008 Green Paper, From the Neighbourhood to the National, to be ‘absolutely committed to neighbourhood policing as the bedrock for local policing in the 21st Century’. Yet experience tells us that implementation of problem solving is likely to be far from straightforward. This article draws attention to the many obstacles identified over 25 years of experimentation with the principles of problem solving. The article examines what is known about implementation of problem solving in the police service and the factors which influence its delivery. It draws attention to lessons learnt and the implications for the delivery of neighbourhood policing.

K Bullock, D Leeney (2013)Participation, 'responsivity' and accountability in neighbourhood policing, In: Criminology and Criminal Justice13(2)pp. 199-214 Sage Publications

Neighbourhood policing, a contemporary form of community policing developed in the United Kingdom (UK), has sought to increase public participation in policing and to develop processes through which residents work in co-production with partners and other state agencies to tackle problems. The aim has been to create mechanisms through which residents can hold the police service to account in dealing with the problems that matter to them. Drawing on interviews with neighbourhood policing officers, this article examines the operation of these processes in practice. We focus on the nature of resident participation in neighbourhood policing; the extent to which police officers organize their priorities around those of residents who participate; and the ways in which officers work with other state agencies and residents themselves to tackle certain problems. Ultimately, this article questions the notions of accountability embedded in neighbourhood policing and whether the neighbourhood policing approach offers an effective mechanism for holding officers to account by residents. © The Author(s) 2013.

KA Bullock (2010)The construction and interpretation of risk management technologies in contemporary probation practice, In: British Journal of Criminology51(1)pp. 120-135 Oxford University Press

This paper examines the governance of risk in probation practice in England and Wales. It is concerned with the construction of risk assessments and the subsequent management of those offenders determined to be ‘risky’. It is concerned especially with how notions of rehabilitation, regulation and punishment interact in contemporary risk management practice. The paper comprises, first, an examination of evidence regarding the nature and operation of risk management in probation practice. Second, it describes the findings of an empirical examination of the operation of contemporary practices. Lastly, it discusses implications for how risk management practice is understood.

A Millie, K Bullock (2013)Policing in a time of contraction and constraint: Re-imagining the role and function of contemporary policing, In: Criminology and Criminal Justice13(2)pp. 133-142 Sage Publications
KA Bullock, D Leeney (2015)On matters of balance: an examination of the deployment, motivation and management of the Special Constabulary, In: Policing and Society: an international journal of research and policy9(1)
K Bullock, K Sindall (2014)Examining the nature and extent of public participation in neighbourhood policing, In: Policing and Society24(4)pp. 385-404

Situated within the 'New Localism' agenda neighbourhood policing, a contemporary form of community policing operating in England and Wales, has sought to increase citizen participation in shaping the direction of local policing. Whilst public participation has been viewed as central for the operation of community policing by its advocates, others have been much more critical about what can be achieved. Concerns have been raised that participation has been low and 'regressive' rather than 'progressive' in its effect. Using binary logistic regression models constructed from Crime Survey for England and Wales (formerly British Crime Survey) data, this study confirms that the majority of the population do not participate and demonstrates that awareness of and participation in neighbourhood policing are shaped by an interaction of factors related to demography, the life course, neighbourhood attachments, facets of social class, perceptions of crime and disorder and attitudes to the police. We conclude that while neighbourhood policing is likely to be consumed by the 'usual suspects', there is also evidence that neighbourhood policing does not have a wholly regressive effect. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

Karen Bullock, Jon Garland, Freya Coupar (2019)Police officer transitions to retirement in the United Kingdom: social identity, social support, and (in)justice, In: Policing and Societypp. 1-15 Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

This article draws on qualitative interviews to examine police officers’ experiences of transitioning to retirement in the United Kingdom, a matter that has been hitherto under researched. We find that the well-established routines and the social identity conferred by the police role are severed at retirement and the transition to retirement may be experienced as disruptive. This has implications for self-esteem, access to support, and perceptions of fairness of the organisation. However, we further argue that retirement is a multidimensional concept and experienced differently, depending on the context and circumstances in which it occurs. When officers are underprepared or retired for medical reasons, the transition was especially disruptive. The article makes important contributions to the literature on police officer social identity, well-being, and organisational justice.

KA Bullock, P Ekblom (2010)Richness, retrievability and reliability-issues in a working knowledge base for good practice in crime prevention, In: European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research16(1)pp. 29-47 Springer Verlag

This paper focuses on descriptions of crime prevention projects identified as ‘good practice’, and how they are captured and shared in knowledge bases, with the purpose of improving performance in the field as a whole. This relates both to evidence-based approaches to practice, and to growing attempts at explicit knowledge management. There are, however, fundamental issues in the transfer of effective practice in the crime prevention field, which few working knowledge bases have properly addressed. Evaluation often remains weak and descriptions of successful projects do not always contain the right information to help practitioners select and replicate projects suitable for transfer to their own contexts. Knowledge remains fragmentary. With these concerns in mind this paper systematically examines the projects contained in the UK Home Office ‘Effective Practice Database’, a repository of project descriptions volunteered and self-completed on a standard online form by practitioners. The Home Office descriptions (and their equivalents elsewhere) reveal significant limitations of richness, retrievability and reliability. Ways of addressing these issues are discussed, ranging from the media and processes of ‘knowledge-harvesting’ to the use of more purpose-designed frameworks such as 5Is. But the fundamental issue remains one of taking knowledge management seriously and investing sustained time, money and leadership effort to make it work.

KA Bullock, P Johnson (2012)The Impact of the Human Rights Act on Policing in England and Wales, In: British Journal of Criminology52(3)pp. 630-650 Oxford University Press

This article explores the impact of the Human Rights Act (HRA) 1998 on the police service of England and Wales. It draws upon qualitative data produced during interviews with police personnel to provide the first empirical study of the influence of the HRA on the police service at an organizational level and on the day-to-day working practices of police officers. Whilst the fundamental aim of the HRA is to protect and enhance citizens’ rights and freedoms, we argue that there is little evidence to suggest that it has promoted a greater awareness of, and respect for, human rights amongst police officers. Rather, the HRA has become institutionalized by the police service into a series of bureaucratic processes that, although requiring conformity by officers, do not encourage active consideration of human rights issues. Instead of shaping police work to make it more responsive to human rights, bureaucratic processes are used by officers to legitimize and justify their existing practices. Focusing on ‘risks’ rather than ‘rights’, officers satisfy the ‘tests’ introduced by the HRA through an assessment of the dangers posed by particular individuals and crime types and the resource implications of effectively managing them. An important result of this is that the HRA is not used to achieve a balance between individual rights and community interests, but becomes a framework for mandating police decision making and protecting officers from criticism and blame.

KA Bullock (2011)Responding to anti-social behaviour: Analysis, interventions and the transfer of knowledge, In: Crime Prevention and Community Safety13(1)pp. 1-15 Palgrave Mcmillan

This article examines contemporary responses to anti-social behaviour (ASB) in England and Wales. Drawing on empirical evidence, it examines how ASB problems are understood and prioritised by practitioners; the nature of the interventions developed and implemented to address problems; and the ways in which outcomes are evaluated. The article points to how systematic analysis of ASB problems is unusual and responses are usually reactive; there has been a focus on enforcement interventions rather than on the development of broader solutions to problems; and evaluation of outcomes is weak. These findings are discussed in relation to the development of the ASB agenda in England and Wales. Implications for solving problems are discussed.

KA Bullock, N Tilley (2008)Understanding and tackling gang violence, In: Crime Prevention and Community Safety: An International Journal.10(1)pp. 36-47 Palgrave Macmillan

Gang-involved shootings comprise a serious problem. A Manchester-based project addressing the issue was tracked and its development is discussed. The initiative moved from a planned focus on the situational determinants of shootings, drawing on the successful Boston Gun Project, to one that focused instead on the social determinants of gang membership. The term “ gang ” itself is highly ambiguous. Equally there are difficulties in defining and operationalizing the concept of “ gang membership ” for preventative and enforcement purposes. Practical uncertainties followed for the identification of individuals who belong to gangs or are at risk of becoming members, and hence warrant special project attention. This intrinsic uncertainty paved the way for disagreements between the practitioners in their estimates of the risks of gang involvement faced by individuals, in the selection of young people to focus on within the project, and in levels of concern about the consequences that might follow from negatively stereotyping young people as gang members. It is concluded that it may be more effective and efficient to target specific patterns of violent behaviour rather than gang membership for preventative and enforcement attention.

KA Bullock, N Tilley (2009)Evidence-Based Policing and Crime Reduction, In: Policing: A journal of policy and practice3(4)pp. 381-387 Oxford University Press

There have been calls for research evidence to be drawn into police practice. We examine evidence-based practice in the policing and crime reduction agenda, drawing on the experience of implementing problem-oriented policing in the UK and beyond. We suggest that that the development of such an agenda has been hampered by certain factors. Evidence is not routinely used by police officers (or partnerships) developing strategies to deal with crime problems who prefer to deliver traditional (law enforcement) responses. There is a limited knowledge base on which practitioners can draw in developing responses to crime problems, and the nature of evidence about what is effective is contested amongst academics. Whilst welcoming the moves to incorporate evidence in policing, we caution against excessive optimism about what can be achieved and make some recommendations for those engaged in developing evidence-based practice.

KA Bullock (2012)Community, intelligence-led policing and crime control, In: Policing and Society: an international journal of research and policypp. ?-? Taylor & Francis

This article examines the relationship between community policing, intelligenceled policing and crime control. Whilst community and intelligence-led policing have developed as distinctive reform movements within contemporary UK policing there have been calls for the two to interact in practice. In particularly, aspects of community policing are operationalised through the frameworks of intelligence-led policing. This article unpicks the structures and processes of (community) intelligence processes in detail. It focuses on the nature of information generated from community policing; how analytical products are constructed; and the nature of the officer tasking and briefing process. It is argued that community policing was conceived, at least in part, as an alternative to traditional reactive policing styles which coalesce around patrol, rapid response to incidents and enforcement of the criminal law. However, as community policing has evolved in practice it has become firmly embedded in conventional police-centric notions of ‘efficiency’, law enforcement and crime control.

A Sidebottom, Karen Bullock (2017)Gating Alleys to Reduce Crime: A Meta-Analysis and Realist Synthesis, In: Justice Quarterly35(1)pp. 55-86 Taylor & Francis

Alley gates are designed to limit access to alleys and the crime opportunities they afford. Informed by the acronym EMMIE we sought to: 1) systematically review the evidence on whether alley gates are Effective at reducing crime, 2) identify the causal Mechanisms through which alley gates are expected to work and the conditions that Moderate effectiveness, and 3) collate information on the Implementation and Economic costs of alley gating. The results of our meta-analysis suggest that alley gating is associated with modest but significant reductions in burglary, with little evidence of spatial displacement. We also identified six mechanisms through which alley gates might plausibly reduce crime, and the conditions in which such mechanisms are most likely to be activated.

Karen Bullock (2016)(Re)presenting ‘order’ online: the construction of police presentational strategies on social media, In: Policing and Society: an international journal of research and policy28(3)pp. 345-359 Taylor & Francis

Embedded in Goffman’s (1959) concept of impression management and drawing on interview data this article examines cultural and organisational features which come together to shape how police officers construct presentational strategies on social media. The article explores how in presenting an image institutions and individuals must give engaging expression which concurs to a dominant cultural script whilst, simultaneously, avoid giving off expressions which threaten individual and institutional efficacy, reputation and legitimacy. In so doing, it is argued that officers face, and must come to negotiate, a series of challenges. This article considers the nature of these challenges, the ways that institutions and individuals have responded to them and implications for the construction of ‘order’ online.

Nigel Fielding, Karen Bullock, Jane Fielding, Graham Hieke (2017)Patterns of Injury on Duty and Perceptions of Support amongst Serving Police Personnel in England and Wales, In: Policing and Society28(9)pp. 1005-1024 Taylor & Francis

This article reports the findings of a large scale survey (N=10,897) which sought to reveal patterns of injury on duty (IoD) and perceptions of organisational and other support amongst serving police personnel in England and Wales. We found that IoD is a multi-faceted issue incorporating wide-ranging physical and psychological injuries and illnesses. We also found that, by their own testimony, IoD is not experienced equally amongst police personnel. Reported experiences of IoD together with satisfaction with, and priorities for, support in the aftermath of injury were shaped by injury type, the role played in the police organisation and the individual characteristics of police personnel, notably, gender. Conceptual and practical implications are discussed.

Ian Brunton-Smith, Karen Bullock (2018)Patterns and Drivers of Co-production in Neighbourhood Watch in England and Wales: From Neo-liberalism to New Localism, In: British Journal of Criminology59azy012pp. 85-106 Oxford University Press

Established in England and Wales in the context of the neo-liberal governments of the 1980s and promoted through the New Local agenda of New Labour and beyond, Neighborhood Watch (NW) is a primary means through which the state and citizens may co-produce crime control. However, whether citizens have the time or inclination to co-produce is debated and it is generally believed that NW proliferates in advantaged, low crime rate areas that need it least. Drawing on analysis of the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) (1988-2010/2011) this article examines long-term trends in participation in NW. It examines the proliferation of NW, how household support for NW fluctuates once established, and the changing importance of some of the key household drivers of participation in NW. It then assesses the extent to which NW schemes are concentrated in more affluent areas, showing that this is moderated by crime risk.

KA Bullock, P Johnson (2016)Faith in Policing: The Co-production of Crime Control in Britain, In: The British Journal of Criminology: an international review of crime and society

Involving faith-based organizations (FBOs) in the production of crime control has been seen as a way of increasing efficiency, promoting accountability and improving trust and confidence in policing. In this article, which draws on qualitative research, we consider how police officers understand the role of faith in policing, engage with faith communities and work with FBOs to mobilize crime prevention activities. We demonstrate that any effective co-production of crime control that involves faith communities and FBOs requires police officers to negotiate a number of complex and multifaceted issues. We argue that the co-production of crime control has symbolic, moral and technical qualities which all need to be successfully negotiated to achieve its aims.

Whilst as a branch of the extended police family they are under-researched, volunteers have long played a role within constabularies. However, in the context of dominant political ideologies which have called for citizens to be more active in crime control and, more prosaically, pressure on police budgets at a time of state contraction, the volunteer is becoming more visible both in policing policy discourse and in practice. A novelty within Anglo-Welsh policing, this article explores the development and deployment of police support volunteer (PSV) programmes. First, it examines the nature of the roles that PSVs play and how these relate to roles played by other actors in the organisation. Second, it explores aspects of their management focusing on their coordination, training and supervision. Third, it considers the degree to which PSVs are integrated into the organisation and accepted by other actors who work therein, and discusses the reasons why the promulgation of PSVs might be resisted by salaried staff. Lastly, the article considers the implications in light of the scholarship on the pluralisation of policing focusing on the interlinked themes of effectiveness, coordination and integration and regulation and accountability.

Karen Bullock, JANE LAURA FIELDING, Graham Hieke (2018)Retiring from the Police Service in England and Wales: A Multi-dimensional Perspective, In: Ageing and Society Cambridge University Press

The experiences of police officers who have retired from the police service have rarely comprised the focus of empirical studies in England and Wales. Drawing on the findings of a survey of former police officers, this article examines the circumstances within which officers leave the service and aspects of the transition to retirement. We find that that certain individual, role, and organisational factors come together to explain how the transition to retirement is experienced by police officers. We conceptualise police retirement as a multi-dimensional process during which a number of factors may come into play and have different effects depending on the circumstances in which retirement occurs. Findings are considered in light of wider conceptualizations of the process of retirement and implications are discussed.

K Bullock (2014)Criminal benefit, the confiscation order and the post-conviction confiscation regime, In: Crime, Law and Social Change62(1)pp. 45-64 Springer Verlag

Governments and law enforcement agencies around the world seek to identify and confiscate the 'proceeds of crime' on the assertion that doing so will deter offending and symbolise to citizens and communities that 'crime does not pay'. In the UK such assertions have underpinned the enactment of legislation, the investment in law enforcement agents and the development of wide ranging new technologies to facilitate the identification of assets and their recovery. This paper critically considers two key concepts which fundamentally drive the post-conviction confiscation regime in the UK. First, 'criminal benefit' which is the amount that a defendant is adjudged to have made from 'criminal conduct'. Second, the 'available amount' which is the amount that the state hopes to recover from a defendant via the court ordered 'confiscation order'. In so doing, this paper explores the assumptions at the heart of the 2002 Proceeds of Crime Act and their application in practice, concentrating on the nature of the powers accorded to financial investigators and how these powers have been interpreted and applied. It is argued that far from representing the 'profit' generated from crime these values are constructs founded in the relationship between legislation, the discretional practice of police officers and financial investigators, organisational restrictions and constraints and informal negotiation and compromise between the defence and prosecution. This has implications for both conceptualising the nature of the post-conviction confiscation regime as well as for shaping what the state might expect to recover from defendants. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Karen Bullock, Annie Bunce (2018)‘The Prison Don’t Talk to You about Getting Out of Prison’: On Why Prisons in England and Wales Fail to Rehabilitate Prisoners, In: Criminology and Criminal Justice SAGE Publications

The position of rehabilitation in prisons in England and Wales has long been debated. Yet studies which consider how prisoners experience rehabilitative practices and processes are rare. Drawing on prisoners’ accounts, this article considers their perceptions and lived experiences of the ways in which rehabilitation is influenced by the nature of organisational support for rehabilitation; the characteristics of interventions implemented to support rehabilitation; and the complexion of the prison climate. We find the perception of an institutional failure to take responsibility for rehabilitation. Rehabilitative interventions – notably Offender Management Programmes (OMPS) and work placements – are perceived to be self-serving in rationale. They are experienced as ill-resourced, superficial in approach and unlikely to engender change. The prison climate, characterised by a lack of interest amongst correctional staff, lack of empathy and concern, and mixed - but often impersonal and sometimes antagonistic - relationships between prison staff and prisoners, further disrupts any ethos of rehabilitation. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed

Karen Bullock, Jon Garland (2017)Police Officers, Mental (ill-) Health and Spoiled Identity, In: Criminology & Criminal Justice18(2)pp. 173-189 Sage Publications

This article considers the processes through which some police officers with mental ill-health experience stigmatisation in police organisations. Situated in the sociological framework of Goffman (1963) and in modified labelling theory (Link et al. 2004, inter alia) it draws on the findings of a qualitative study and examines the sources of stigma embedded in police work, the consequences of stigma for the labelled officer, the nature of any resistance to the application of the label, and approaches to challenging stigma within the policing context. It suggests that in order to tackle these negative attitudes constabularies must do more to address the processes of stigmatisation associated with mental ill-health at the individual and institutional levels.

Karen Bullock, Paul Johnson (2017)Police Engagement with Muslim Communities: Breaking Out, Breaking In, and Breaking Through, In: Policing and Society28(8)pp. 879-897 Taylor & Francis

This article considers the character of engagement between UK police forces and Muslim communities and citizens. It examines, from the perspective of police personnel, a range of factors that prevent police organisations from ‘breaking out’ of constraints that currently hinder their engagement with Muslim communities, limit police officers from ‘breaking in’ to Muslim communities in ways that would improve engagement, and facilitate police officers in ‘breaking through’ barriers between them and Muslim communities. The aim of the article is to offer a critical insight into engagement between police officers and Muslim communities and citizens that may aid and enhance such engagement in the future. Enhancing positive engagement between the police service and Muslim citizens is vital in the context of contemporary concerns about Muslim communities being the focus of a multiplicity of counter-terrorism and counter-extremism strategies and, as a result, Muslims citizens retreating from participation in public life.

KA Bullock (2010)The confiscation investigation. Investigating the Financial Benefit Made from Crime, In: Policing: A journal of policy and practice4(1)pp. 7-14 Oxford University Press

The court-ordered confiscation order is the primary means of recovering a defendant's financial benefit from crime. Whilst becoming more prominent within the police service, little is known about the role of the financial investigator and the operational processes which lead to a confiscation order. This paper examines the role of the financial investigators in confiscation proceedings along with their day-to-day tasks, training, status and profile within the police service. It identifies how cases are selected for financial investigation, distinguishing between proactive and reactive referrals. It sets out the powers that financial investigators have to investigate defendants’ financial affairs and the information that they draw on in practice. The paper examines the difficulties in integrating confiscation investigations with mainstream policing activities, highlighting the role of competing targets, the performance management regime and potentially perverse incentives. The paper ends with a call for the development of a proactive rather than reactive asset recovery regime.

K Bullock, D Leeney (2012)Public concern about serious organised crime, In: Crime Prevention and Community Safety14(4)pp. 278-292 Palgrave Macmillan

The 2011 cross-government Organised Crime Strategy (Home Office, 2011) emphasises the need for community safety practitioners to provide information to help citizens recognise when they may be vulnerable to serious organised crime so that they might take steps to prevent victimisation and the need for the state response to serious organised crime to be supported by local communities. Drawing on focus group data, this article examines the nature of public concern about serious organised crime; citizen views regarding the police (and other agency) response to serious organised crime; and how information about serious organised crimes is communicated to members of the public. This article finishes by considering implications for community safety practice in light of the 2011 Organised Crime Strategy. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

In times of increasing pressures on the police service, looking after the well-being of its staff has never been more paramount. However, there has been little academic consideration either of the nature of organisational support for officers injured in the line of duty, nor of the implications for injured officers and constabularies. This article aims to fill this lacuna by drawing on interviews with police officers in England and Wales to examine officers’ perceptions and experiences of organisational support following injury on duty. We report that in the context of perceptions of cynical attitudes of leaders regarding injury, the organisational devolution of responsibility for recovery to the officer, and in the limited nature of the provision of interventions designed to aid recovery, injured officers described how they lacked support, were dealt with inappropriately, and were approached unsympathetically and sceptically. This left officers feeling cut off in the aftermath of injury. The article contributes to the burgeoning literature on the role of organisational justice by providing insights into why fairness judgements are important to officers. We suggest that uncertainty and anxiety in the aftermath of injury was the prism through which organisational responses to their injury were interpreted by officers and found to be wanting. Police organisations therefore need to fully understand this process as a first step in developing improved policies and practices that provide the help and support officers need when they are injured and feeling especially vulnerable.

Karen Bullock (2018)Making Good in Unpromising Places: The Development and Cultivation of Redemption Scripts amongst Long-Term Prisoners, In: International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology SAGE Publications

Generally regarded as an institution which frustrates rather than enables the process of desisting from crime, the potential for prisoners to find redemption in prison seems bleak. Despite unpromising conditions within the prison, we find strong evidence of reform and a desire to make amends amongst a cohort of long-term prisoners. Whilst these prisoners were all participating on a rehabilitation programme, their narratives of reform were highly individualised and situated in the context of their various experiences of long sentences. However, we report that these individualised accounts of reform were strengthened and facilitated in similar ways through interactions established via their programme participation. Specifically, the programme was experienced as fulfilling, empowering, and therapeutic. This functioned to reinforce participants’ sense of control, or self-mastery, increased their self-esteem, and instilled hope and confidence that an alternative, moral future may be achievable. Implications for supporting desistance in the prison are discussed.

Karen Bullock, Aiden Sidebottom, Rachel Armitage, Matthew P J Ashby, Caitlin Clemmow, Stuart Kirby, Gloria Laycock, Nick Tilley (2021)Forty years of problem-oriented policing: A review of progress in England and Wales, In: Policing Oxford University Press

This article analyses and critically reflects on the position of problem-oriented policing within England and Wales. Problem-oriented policing is a framework for improving police effectiveness. Its adoption has consistently been shown to be associated with sizable reductions in a wide range of crimes and public safety issues. However, many studies also find that problem-oriented policing is difficult to embed and sustain within police organisations. This article draws on the experiences and perspectives of 86 informed stakeholders to critically examine the position and practice of problem-oriented policing 40 years after its original formulation by Herman Goldstein in 1979. We argue that despite evidence of renewed interest in problem-oriented policing, the approach is not habitually conducted within police organisations in England and Wales. Where it is conducted, the practice of problem-oriented policing is found to lack discipline, the processes tend not to be faithfully followed, and there are weaknesses at all stages of the process. Implications of the findings for future research and police practice are discussed.

KAREN ANNE BULLOCK, Aiden Sidebottom, Rachel Armitage, Matthew P J Ashby, Caitlin Clemmow, Stuart Kirby, Gloria Laycock, Nick Tilley (2022)Police perceptions of problem-oriented policing and evidence-based policing: evidence from England and Wales, In: Police practice & research : an international journal Routledge

The history of policing is littered with reform programmes, which aim to improve effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy. Problem-oriented policing (POP) and evidence-based policing (EBP) are two popular and enduring reform efforts, both of which have generated significant researcher and practitioner attention. There are important similarities between POP and EBP: both approaches provide a framework intended to improve the outcomes of policing. There are also key differences, however, in terms of their main objectives, standards of evidence and units of analysis. Despite both approaches being widely advocated and implemented, presently little is known about police practitioner understanding of the relationship between POP and EBP, both in principle and in practice. To address this gap, this paper draws on survey (n = 4,141) and interview (n = 86) data collected from 19 police forces in England and Wales in 2019 to explore police practitioners’ views on the relationship between POP and EBP, and the extent to which these two approaches inform contemporary police practices. Our findings indicate that respondents generally viewed the two approaches as complementary and important frameworks for orienting police work. However, respondents also drew attention to how the two approaches are not always connected organisationally nor in the minds of police personnel. In addition, challenges were identified in the application of both approaches in practice. Our results suggest that more needs to be done to maximise the potential of POP and EBP, both separately and synergistically. The article concludes by suggesting some ways in which this might be achieved.

Karen Bullock, Aiden Sidebottom, Rachel Armitage, Matthew P.J Ashby, Caitlin Clemmow, Stuart Kirby, Gloria Laycock, Nick Tilley (2021)Problem-oriented policing in England and Wales: barriers and facilitators, In: Policing and Societyahead-of-print(ahead-of-print)pp. 1-16 Routledge

Evidence shows that the application of problem-oriented policing can be effective in reducing a wide range of crime and public safety issues, but that the approach is challenging to implement and sustain. This article examines police perceptions and experiences regarding organisational barriers to and facilitators of the implementation and delivery of problem-oriented policing. Drawing on surveys of (n = 4141) and interviews with (n = 86) police personnel from 19 police forces in England and Wales, we identify five key barriers and facilitators to problem-oriented policing: leadership and governance, capacity, organisational structures and infrastructure, partnership working and organisational culture. These factors provide important indicators for what police organisations need to do, or need to avoid, if they are to successfully embed and deliver problem-oriented policing. The article generates critical information about the processes that drive change in police organisations and offers recommendations for police managers who may wish to implement or develop problem-oriented policing. The paper also proposes a research agenda aimed at addressing evidence gaps in our understanding of the implementation and sustenance of problem-oriented policing.

Karen Bullock, N Tilley, R Clarke (2010)Introduction, In: K Bullock, N Tilley, R Clarke (eds.), Situational Prevention of Organised Crime Willan Publishing
KA Bullock (2014)Citizens, Community and Crime Control Palgrave Macmillan

From reporting crimes to volunteering for the police, it is clear that citizens and communities play fundamental roles in policing and the construction of crime control. Embedded in the examples of police-community consultation, community policing, Neighbourhood Watch, citizen patrols, the Special Constabulary and Police Support Volunteers, this book provides a timely examination of the forms and functions of citizen and community participation in policing. Drawing on thinkers as diverse as Plato and Putnam, Bullock explores the historical circumstances and theoretical sources that have generated ideas about citizen and community participation in crime control. The book considers how these concepts have come to inform government policy and contemporary police practice, and the impact citizen participation has had upon political decision-making, accountability and the promotion of a 'democratic' police service. Analysing the nature, extent and parameters of citizens' participation and the problems that participation may produce in practice, this book will be an essential resource for scholars of Policing and Crime Control.

K Bullock, N Tilley (2003)Crime Reduction and Problem-oriented Policing Willan
KA Bullock, S Lister (2014)Post-Conviction Confiscation of Assets in England and Wales: Rhetoric and Reality, In: C King, C Walker (eds.), Dirty Assets: Emerging Issues in the Regulation fo Criminal and Terrorist Assets Ashgate
KA Bullock, N Tilley (2003)From strategy to action: the development and implementation of problem-oriented projects, In: K Bullock, N Tilley (eds.), Crime Reduction and problem-oriented policing Willan Publishing
KA Bullock, N Tilley (2003)The role of analysis: lessons from the crime reduction programme, In: J Knutsson (eds.), Problem-oriented policing: from innovation to mainstream Willan Publishing
KA Bullock, N Tilley (2003)Introduction: the concepts, implementation and outcomes of problem-oriented policing in the UK and the US, In: K Bullock, N Tilley (eds.), Crime reduction and problem-oriented policing Willan Publishing
KA Bullock, G Farrell, N Tilley (2002)Funding and implementing crime reduction initiatives Home Office
KA Bullock, R Clarke, N Tilley (2010)Situational Prevention of Organised Crimes. Willan Publishing

Situational crime prevention is the art and science of reducing opportunities for crime. Despite accumulating evidence of its value in reducing many different kinds of crime - such as burglary, fraud, robbery, car theft, child sexual abuse and even terrorism - little has previously been published about its role in reducing organised crimes. This collection of case studies, by a distinguished international group of researchers, fills this gap by documenting the application of a situational prevention approach to a variety of organised crimes. These include sex trafficking, cigarette and drug smuggling, timber theft, mortgage fraud, corruption of private professionals and public officials, and subversion of tendering procedures for construction projects. By moving the focus away from the nature of criminal organisations to the analysis of the crimes committed by these organisations, the book opens up a fresh agenda for policy and research. Situational Prevention of Organised Crimes will be of interest to those tasked with tackling organised crime problems, as well as those interested in understanding the ways that organised crime problems have manifested themselves globally, and how law enforcement and other agencies might seek to tackle them in the future.

KA Bullock (2009)Problem-oriented policing, In: A Wakefield, J Fleming (eds.), The SAGE dictionary of policing Sage Publications
KA Bullock (2010)Improving accessibility and accountability – neighbourhood policing and the policing pledge., In: Safer Communities: international journal of community safety.9(1)pp. 10-19

This book makes an important contribution to the literature on problem-orientedpolicing, aiming to distill the British experience of problem-oriented policing.