The NSW Police Force (NSWPF) supports the development of research that informs the principles and practice of policing in NSW and can contribute to informed strategic decision making and evidence-based policy development.

The NSWPF Education and Training Command (ETC), Research and Policing Practice Unit (RAPP) has the responsibility for the facilitation and coordination of all research on behalf of the NSWPF. Through consultation with Commands and NSWPF Corporate Sponsors, ETC have identified strategic priorities for 2017-2020.

Researchers should note that all applications should address one or more of these strategic priorities to be considered.

Accordingly, it is necessary that research is of high quality and uses appropriate and rigorous methodologies. It is recommended that prior to applying to conduct research, external researchers should contact the RAPP’s research team to discuss their intended project.

Correspondence can be addressed to the Research Manager - research@police.nsw.gov.au

priorities

Subject Area

Strategic Priorities

Crime Prevention
  • Use of Strategic Intelligence
  • Knowledge Management (police powers, social media, recording/documenting evidence)
  • Youth Crime (diversion, homelessness, case conferencing)
  • Mental Health (youth, extremism, officer training)
  • Forensic Services
Cultural Literacy
  • Community Engagement
  • Assisting Investigations (interpreters, diversity)
  • Education & Training Diversity
Crime Trends
  • Domestic Violence (Family domestic violence, child abuse & neglect, elder abuse – physical & financial)
  • Sexual Assault (including first response)
  • Personal Fraud (cyber safety strategies, identify crime as a precursor for serious criminal activity)
  • Cybercrime (improved information technology; first response training, social media & online engagement, facilitation of evidence)
  • Safer Roads (vehicle born assaults, driver education)
Emergency Management
  • Incident Command & Control (cyber-attack, operational communications)
Terrorism
  • Incident Command & Control
  • Tactical Training (Hostile Vehicle Mitigation)
  • Community Engagement (refugees, radicalisation)
  • Mental Health (relationship between extremism & mental health)
  • Fixated persons (threats in public spaces, behaviour profiling)

Technology

  • Delivery Platforms (officer education, new technology)
Continuous Improvement
  • Leadership
  • Vocational Training
  • Health & Wellbeing (PTSD, obesity, diabetes, return to work and alternative career paths)

Researchers should also note that it is a condition of approval of all research that a research report be submitted to the NSWPF within 3 months of project completion.

Conducting Research With the NSW Police Force

Before approving a research application, the NSWPF will undertake a consultation process with internal and external stakeholders. This means that researchers should allow up to eight (8) weeks for the approval of a basic project that does not raise significant ethical issues or does not involve the allocation of funds or significant in-kind support.

Projects that raise significant ethical or privacy issues, have the potential to impact on operational activities, or require allocation of funds or a significant in-kind contribution by the NSWPF, may take some time to be considered and approved. Students undertaking honours degrees should approach the NSWPF regarding their projects no later than March in their honours year. Requests for all other undergraduate research will not be considered due to time constraints.

The following documents should be read before submitting the application to RAPP research team. Each document governs how the NSWPF conducts research (to be compliant with current best policies and practices). All researchers involved in any type of research project with the NSWPF must be compliant to the statements and codes outlined in the national documents linked below:

The application form required to conduct research with the NSWPF can be found below.

Research applications MUST include the following supplementary information

  1. The names and institutional affiliations of the principal researcher and other personnel involved with the project.
  2. Applicants undertaking honours, masters and PhD studies should state their university, school or faculty and provide contact details for their supervisor(s).
  3. Curriculum vitae or other information about the principal researcher that establishes their credentials to undertake the project in question.
  4. A summary of the project in plain language.
  5. Projects MUST be clearly linked to the corporate priorities set out in NSW Police Force Education and Training Strategic Priorities as set out above and may also reference the NSW Police Force Corporate Plan.
  6. A detailed overview of the research methodology, clearly indicating what access to NSWPF information or personnel is required and setting out timeframes for completion of each stage of the project.
  7. A statement outlining the value of the research to the NSWPF, as well as the scholarly and general communities.
  8. Where available, draft versions of interview, focus group or survey questions.
  9. A copy of the ethics committee application and approval if the project has progressed this far at time of application.
  10. If the project design involves interviews or focus groups, outline how many staff would be involved from which locations and for how long.
  11. If financial support is sought include a detailed outline of the planned expenditure. Researchers should note that the NSWPF will not generally fund the purchase of computers, software or pay for overseas travel.

Research - FAQs

The NSWPF supports the development of research that informs the principles and practice of policing in NSW and can contribute to informed strategic decision making and evidence-based policy development. The NSWPF therefore seeks to undertake and support research that is relevant to corporate strategies and priorities, improves knowledge about factors bearing upon demand for police services, and provides an evidence base for strategic, tactical and operational decision making.

Research that supports, improves and validates police practice is essential for the advancement of the professional status of the occupation of policing and increasing public confidence in police practice. Accordingly, it is necessary that research is of high quality, uses appropriate and rigorous methodologies, and as far as possible aims at providing information that is relevant to the work of the NSWPF.

I want to do research with the NSW Police Force who do I contact?

The Research and Policing Practice Unit (RAPP) research team are here to facilitate all external enquiries. All prospective researchers must contact the RAPP research officers as their first point of contact. This can be done by emailing research@police.nsw.gov.au. Do not approach individual police officers or commands with research enquiries.

Does the NSW Police Force have a Policy that governs research?

Yes, the NSWPF has a draft Policy for Research. Please contact the RAPP research team for advice on this policy.

Who can perform research with the NSW Police Force?

The NSWPF encourages applications from postgraduate students, academics, government agencies and private research institutions. Students undertaking honours degrees should approach the NSWPF regarding their projects no later than March in their honours year. Undergraduate research and applications from Secondary Schools will generally not be considered due to limited research time frames and the extensive NSWPF approval processes.

What kind of research participation can I request from the NSW Police Force?

  1. Access to NSWPF staff for the purposes of conducting surveys interviews or focus groups.
  2. Access to NSWPF corporate data (Researchers should be aware that comprehensive crime data aggregated to various statistical boundaries across time are available from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au, and access to this data does not require approval).
  3. Access to corporate records, documentation and policy.

Please note that observation of operational police on duty will not be approved due to security reasons and the heightened state of alert for Australia.

I am employed by the NSW Police Force and I wish to conduct research. Do I need to complete a full research application and go through the approval process?

Yes, if you are enrolled in an undergraduate or postgraduate degree with a research component, you will be treated as an external applicant and go through the normal application process.

If your research area is within the command you are currently assigned to, facilitation and approval of the project may be quicker.

If you wish to perform internal research for your command which is not affiliated with any external agencies, you will need to seek permission from your Commander. The RAPP research team can assist you with research design and skills.

What are the timeframes for approval for research with the NSW Police Force?

Before approving a research application, the NSWPF will undertake a consultation process with internal and external stakeholders. This means that researchers should allow up to 8-12 weeks for the approval of a basic project that does not raise significant ethical issues or does not involve the allocation of funds or significant in-kind support.

Projects that raise significant ethical or privacy issues, involve numerous commands, have the potential to impact on operational activities, or require allocation of funds or a significant in-kind contribution by the NSWPF, may take some time to be considered and approved.

Do I need a criminal record check to do research with the NSW Police Force?

The NSWPF may require researchers to complete a National Police Check and obtain a National Security Clearance prior to commencing approved projects, where the research design involves access or exposure to certain kinds of information.

I intend on applying for an Australian Research Council (ARC) grant, will the NSW Police Force support my application?

The NSWPF has been involved in many successful ARC Linkage projects. Linkage programs offer potential for funding from the NSWPF and other agencies to be matched by a contribution from the Commonwealth Government.

Researchers wishing to invite the NSWPF to participate in an ARC Linkage application must commence the process at least six (6) months prior to the closing date for submission of applications to ARC. The assessment process will involve an examination of the potential value of the research, balanced against the cost of participation and the impact of methodology on NSWPF activities. As the ARC process falls outside normal budget time frames, it may take some time to identify the source of funds required in the event of a successful application. For large and complicated projects, a one-year time frame to develop the application is recommended.

Under no circumstances will the NSWPF agree to participate in last minute grant applications to the ARC or other granting bodies, even if no cash contribution is sought from the NSWPF.

Researchers who are considering applying for ARC Discovery funding, or for other grants that do not require a financial or significant in-kind contribution from the NSWPF, are advised to seek in principle support prior to finalisation of the grant application.

The NSWPF will be under no obligation to participate in such a project if there was no consultation and in principle support given prior to the determination of the grant application.

What is the process of applying to do research with the NSW Police Force?

Prospective researchers are advised to contact the RAPP research team by email research@police.nsw.gov.au with details of their project proposal, prior to applying.

The RAPP research team will assess the project proposal against the objectives of the strategic direction and the NSWPF Corporate Plan. If the project is deemed feasible the RAPP research team will then invite you to apply.

Upon receipt of an application the RAPP research team will assess the project proposal and liaise with the NSWPF Commands and/or Corporate Spokespersons who are likely to be stakeholders in the research and seek their support and approval for the project.

Once the application has been through the NSWPF 'chain of command' it will be returned to the RAPP research team who will notify the applicant of the outcome by way of an official letter.

What do I need to include in my application?

  1. NSWPF application for research.
  2. Names and institution of the principal researcher and other personnel involved in the research.
  3. Contact details of supervisor (for undergraduate and postgraduate researchers).
  4. Detailed project proposal including a summary in plain language (this should clearly indicate what access to NSWPF information or personnel is required, including timeframes).
  5. Draft versions of interview, focus group or survey questions where applicable.
  6. Expected completion date.
  7. University/Agency ethics application.
  8. University/Agency ethics approval.
  9. Curriculum vitae of principal researcher; and
  10. Any other documents that will support your application e.g. literature review, journal article, letters of support from other stakeholders etc.

Do I need to include a breakdown of costs involved in my research?

If financial support is sought from the NSWPF, a detailed outline of the planned expenditure must be included in the application.

How do I get ethics approval?

The NSWPF does not have an ethics committee. Ethics approval must be granted by the University/ Institution that your research is affiliated with. A copy of the ethics application and the approval letter must be submitted with your research application for consideration.

My university ethics committee has requested I gain the NSW Police Force's approval as part of my ethics application; however, on your application it appears I need university ethics clearance prior to the department's approval. Can I get clarification on this?

When University ethics committees require full approval prior to granting final ethics clearance, the RAPP research team will work with you to gain ethics approval. You will need to provide the RAPP research team with a copy of your ethics submission and the RAPP research team may provide a conditional approval for you to show to the University. It is important to note that any in principle support is conditional on the formal approval process.

What happens when my research is approved?

All research is governed by the NSW Police Force Research Deed Poll. The Research Deed Poll is required to be signed by the researcher and/or the university.

A Letter of Approval will be sent to you once the Research Deed Poll has been signed by the researcher and/or the University.

When your research is approved, you will be provided with contact details of the person who will facilitate your research and you are free to contact that person directly.

The RAPP research team will ask for a progress report every six (6) months until the completion of your research project.

Why do I need to sign the Research Project Acceptance Form?

In signing the NSW Police Research Deed Poll, you are agreeing to the terms set out by the NSWPF.

Is there an appeal process if my research is not approved?

No. The RAPP research team works closely with applicants wishing to undertake research with the NSWPF. On occasion the NSWPF will decline to participate in research usually because the proposed study is not consistent with the strategic direction and corporate priorities of the Force. Research may also be declined if the proposal is not feasible for workload or security reasons, or if the Force are currently engaged in a similar project.

I want to publish an article on my research, do I need approval from the NSW Police Force?

It is set out in the NSW Police Research Deed Poll as a condition of your approval for research with the NSWPF that any proposed publications are submitted for review and comment prior to their submission for peer review. Please submit all papers to research@police.nsw.gov.au.

I would like to present my research at a conference, do I need approval?

As a condition of approval NSWPF reserves the right to review material before it is published. Please submit your abstract to the RAPP research team for approval 12 weeks before the conference date.

What are my obligations to the NSW Police Force for approved research projects?

The involvement and assistance of the NSWPF is to be appropriately acknowledged in any publications or presentations of the research;

Progress Reports are required to be submitted to the RAPP research team every six (6) months until the completion of the research and/or examination process with the first report due six (6) months from receipt of approval;

An electronic copy of the final version of the thesis or research report with an executive summary in plain language is to be submitted to the RAPP research team within three (3) months of completion of the project.

I would like to make amendments to my approved research. How do I seek approval for this?

Please email research amendments to the RAPP research team at research@police.nsw.gov.au.

Application Form

Prospective researchers are advised to contact the RAPP research team by email research@police.nsw.gov.au with details of their project proposal, prior to applying. The RAPP research team will assess the project proposal against the objectives of the strategic priorities of the Education & Training Command and the NSW Police Force Corporate Plan. If the project is deemed feasible the RAPP research team will then invite you to apply.

Upon receipt of an application the RAPP research team will assess the project proposal and liaise with the NSWPF Commands and/or Corporate Spokespersons who are likely to be stakeholders in the research and seek their support and approval for the project.

Once the application has been through the NSWPF 'chain of command' it will be returned to the RAPP research team who will notify the applicant of the outcome by way of an official letter.

Application to conduct research (PDF)

Publications

The NSW Police Force is pleased to have had involvement in the following research:

Refereed Articles

  • Orr, Robin, et al. "Leg power as an indicator of risk of injury or illness in police recruits." International journal of environmental research and public health 13.2 (2016): 237.

  • Cubitt, Timothy IC, et al. "Body-worn video: A systematic review of literature." Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology (2016): 0004865816638909.

  • Taudte, Regina Verena, et al. "The development and comparison of collection techniques for inorganic and organic gunshot residues." Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry 408.10 (2016): 2567- 2576.

  • Orr, Robin Marc, et al. "A functional movement screen profile of an Australian state police force: a retrospective cohort study." BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 17.1 (2016): 296.

  • Elliott, Jaymen L., and Sara Lal. "Blood pressure, sleep quality and fatigue in shift working police officers: effects of a twelve hour roster system on cardiovascular and sleep health." International journal of environmental research and public health 13.2 (2016): 172.

  • Orr, Robin M., Kelsie Ford, and Michael Stierli. "Implementation of an Ability Based Training Program in Police Force Recruits." The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research (2016).

  • Davies, Amanda Jane, and Hayden Sargent. "Reflecting and gaining wisdom: A self-assesment rubric model for optimising simulation based learning." SimTecT. 2015.

  • Orr, Rob, et al. "Relationship between selected measures of power and strength and linear running speed amongst special weapons and tactics police officers." Journal of Australian strength and conditioning 23.3 (2015): 23.

  • Kelly, Andrew. "Managing the risks of public discourse on the New South Wales police force facebook site." Salus Journal 2.1 (2014): 19.

  • Vickers, M. H. (M. H. ), Kennedy, M. H., Birch, P., Galovic, S., & Gallagher, P. (2014). May the Force be With You: Furthering Fresh Futures for NSW Police Psychological Strengths, Wellbeing and Retention. Penrith, N.S.W: University of Western Sydney.

  • Johnson, Aidan P., Samuel J. Wighton, and James F. Wallman. "Tracking Movement and Temperature Selection of Larvae of Two Forensically Important Blow Fly Species Within a “Maggot Mass”." Journal of forensic sciences 59.6 (2014): 1586-1591.

  • Robinson, Susan, Rachel MacCulloch, and Virginia Arentsen. "The Effects of Gender and Country on Stress and Resilience: A Comparative Study of Police Academy Recruits from Australia, China and Canada." The Police Journal 87.4 (2014): 245-257.

  • Jackson, Fiona, et al. "A survey of glass found on the headwear and head hair of a random population vs. people working with glass." Forensic science international 226.1 (2013): 125-131.

  • Orr, Rob, et al. "The impact of a structured reconditioning program on the physical attributes and attitudes of injured police officers: A pilot study." Journal of Australian Strength and Conditioning 21.4 (2013): 42.

  • Jones, Brian, Syd Pleno, and Michael Wilkinson. "The use of random sampling in investigations involving child abuse material." Digital Investigation 9 (2012): S99-S107.

  • Lewis, Bruce G., Ric D. Herbert, and William J. Chivers. "Modelling service levels in a call centre with an agent-based model." World Review of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development 7. 1-2 (2010): 2-12.

Conference Presentations

  • Orr, Rob, Michael Stierli, and Ben Hinton. "A functional movement screen profile of an Australian police force." The Australian Physiotherapy Association Connect Conference 2015, Gold Coast, Australia. 03-06 October 2015. 2015.

  • Orr, Rob, M. Hua, and Michael Stierli. "Profiling a workplace physiotherapy and rehabilitation program within a police force." The Australian Physiotherapy Association Connect Conference 2015, Gold Coast, Australia. 03-06 October 2015. 2015.

  • Poke, D., Rob Orr, Michael Stierli and Ben Hinton. "The perceived effect of load carriage on marksmanship in the tactical athlete." The Australian Physiotherapy Association Connect Conference 2015, Gold Coast, Australia. 03-06 October 2015. 2015.

  • Bock, Claire, M. Stierli, B. Hinton and Rob Orr. "The Functional Movement Screen as a Predictor of Tactical Athlete Performance." 43rd Annual Sports Medicine Association Queensland State Conference. May 2014, Queensland, Australia 2014

  • Orr, Rob, et al. "Grip strength is associated with marksmanship and defensive tactics, but not injuries, in police recruits." Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) Conference 2013. May 2013 Melbourne, Australia. 2013

Research Reports

  • Frontline Police Officers' Perceptions of Challenges in Police-Witness Interviews -Thesis (MA) Hons. Helen Simpson, 2016, Griffith University.

  • Domestic Violence Evidence in Chief in New South Wales. Michelle Simpson, 2016. University of Wollongong

  • Evaluation of Bravehearts' Sexual Assault Disclosure Scheme: Police Report. Carol Ronken. 2015. Bravehearts

  • New South Wales Police Force's Social Media Policy: Creating, Sharing and Exchanging Information and Ideas. An exegesis to accompany two work-based research projects - Thesis (D). Carlene Mahoney. 2015. Charles Sturt University.

  • Victim or Victor? Current Professional Perspectives on Sexual Assault Processes in Australia - Thesis (Hon). Lauren Moss. 2012. University of Western Sydney

  • Parenting and Prosecuting; The Impact of Motherhood on Careers of Police Prosecutors in New South Wales - Thesis (Hon). Kathy Newton. 2014. University of Western Sydney

  • Plural Policing in Action - Thesis (PhD). Ana Abigail Rodas. 2011. University of NSW

  • A Parsimonious Agent-Based Emergency Call Centre Model - Thesis (MA). Bruce Lewis. 2011. University of Newcastle

  • Policing with Intelligence: Intelligence Led Policing in New South Wales - Thesis (Hon). Laura Dewberry. 2011. University of NSW

  • Where are they now? Evaluation of the Current Psychological Testing in the NSW Police Force - Thesis (MA). Rowena Friend. 2010. University of NSW.

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with the Police Force: Evaluating its Efficiency and Mechanisms for Change - Thesis (PhD) - Linda Bilich-Erich. 2009. University of Wollongong

  • Serial Crimes in Australia Investigative Issues and Practices - Thesis (PhD). Natalia Scerra. 2009. University of Western Sydney

  • The Effects of Training on Detecting Deception in the Confessional Context: Assessing the Influence and Professional Experience on Evaluations of Truthful and Deceptive Confessions. Deborah Bradford, Jane Goodman-Delahunty. 2008. University of NSW

  • Predictors of Performance: Psychological Testing and Subsequent Performance of NSW Police Service Recruits. Robert Westwood, Robert Wood, Rebekah Rawlings. 2006. The Australian Graduate School of Management: University of NSW