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Police value strong academic partnerships

Police value strong academic partnerships

Police has reviewed matters raised by Dr Jarrod Gilbert in relation to the research application made by the company Independent Research Solutions in 2014.

“Modern policing relies heavily on strong partnerships, and Police is currently working with 40 academic research projects,” says Mark Evans Deputy Chief Executive, Strategy.

Police notes that this research project was approved by Police in late 2014.

Police provided all information requested by the research team in July 2015.

While other members of Dr Gilbert’s team were cleared by Police vetting, Police accept that a mistake was made that did not fully take into account the nature of Dr Gilbert’s research proposal, and the reason that his links to gangs were likely to show up.

Police have apologised to Dr Gilbert for this.

“I have now written to Dr. Gilbert explaining the Police position and confirming that there are no issues with him having access to the requested data for this project following further consideration of all the circumstances,” says Mr. Evans.

As a result, Police is amending guidelines around vetting of researchers, including high-level oversight and more detailed case-by-case consideration on vetting checks on researchers which are negative.

Police will also be updating the research agreement, including removing any language that may be interpreted as restricting the independence of academic research.

“I want to stress that this was neither the intent nor purpose of the agreement.

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Nevertheless, it will be updated to provide additional clarity and assurance around its purpose,” says Mr Evans.

“Police has clear obligations to appropriately manage information which is of a private, security or operationally sensitive nature.

“We must also manage the demands on Police to provide this information, which in the case of research projects can often be a complex process requiring significant Police resources.

“It has always been our intention to balance the need to appropriately manage access to such information while enabling academic research to take place.

“I reiterate that Police has no absolutely no interest in restricting academic debate,” said Mr Evans.


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