New national competition for police innovation

Do you have a good idea to improve policing? Do you have personnel or students who have innovative insights? Get your ideas in to this new national competition to find the very best innovations for UK policing.

Jun 23, 2021
By Professor John Coxhead

The winners will be celebrated with Police Professional’s 50,000 readers and an international audience in a special feature. The search is on for your best ideas.

Police Professional is pleased to announce its new national annual competition to help stimulate and celebrate innovation and enterprise in UK policing by inviting new ideas from student researchers and other interested parties. With a new and growing generation of student officers to the profession, fresh pairs of eyes offer a great opportunity for policing to explore change and reform opportunities. There will be other police professionals out there too who may have worked in policing for a while and have identified ideas based on their experience. Equally, there may be others who do not work, or intend to work, in policing who have a great idea too. All are welcome.

The ‘grand challenges’ facing contemporary policing are regularly discussed in Police Professional, but as a single current document the Policing Vision 2025 captures the essential road map for policing. We are encouraging participation in the new competition to find innovative ways of delivering that ‘Vision’. You can access the full 2025 Vision document by clicking here.

Ideas from all backgrounds and disciplines are invited – the important thing is whether the ideas could be applied within, and help improve, policing. For example, universities are encouraged to promote this new opportunity widely to all their students (across all disciplines) and review their ‘top three’ ideas for potential innovation policing application. To encourage a wide and flexible approach, submissions may, for example, come from an idea within assessed work or a standalone submission, such as a presentation or report. Universities and forces are invited to collate ideas at their local level, and identify those which they believe have the strongest innovation application potential for policing, considered against the judging criteria (see below). Individuals, too, may submit their own ideas direct.

Applications are now open and any student work (from any discipline) commenced or completed in 2020 or 2021 is eligible.

A panel appointed by Police Professional will judge the top three overall entries at a national level in July 2021. The winner will receive a year’s free subscription to Police Professional and the two runners-up will receive a certificate of achievement, and be featured at a national level in future editions of Police Professional. Although not currently possible because of Covid-19 restrictions, it is anticipated an awards ceremony invite will be offered to winners to attend Loughborough University in the future.

To flexibly encourage ideas in their widest remit there is no prescribed submission format, but all entries should make explicit their potential contribution to policing innovation, (three minute-style presentations or posters are a popular format) and should be sent via relevant university leads where possible by email to Submissions will be accepted for the 2020/21 competition from September 1, 2020, until 5pm, Friday October 1, 2021. Winners will be notified by email and announced in Police Professional. No feedback will be offered to other applicants, and the judges’ joint decision will be final. Winners will be invited to join the judging panel for the subsequent year.

The judging criteria is:

  1. How relevant is the innovation research/idea to UK policing? (25 marks)
  2. What potential benefits does the research/idea offer to improving UK policing? (25 marks)
  3. How feasible would the innovation be to realise potential benefits? (25 marks)
  4. How well has the applicant articulated the idea/research? (25 marks)

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