ENU’s Stellar Contributions to the Scottish Institute of Policing Research in 2023

The Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR) is a collaborative organisation which brings together 15 Scottish Universities, as well as Police Scotland and The Scottish Police Authority, whose aim is to ‘support internationally excellent, multi-disciplinary policing research to enable evidence-informed policy & practice.’

Edinburgh Napier’s Contribution to the SIPR Annual report demonstrates the outstanding and sheer volume of work and dedication that has gone into this area of research from academics within the university, with our very own Professor Liz Aston leading the research institute.

Some of the work in this year’s report includes examples of the kind of collaboration carried out, including knowledge and exchange events, which has contributed to organisational learning, such as hosting Norwegian Police.

Our ENU head of Social Sciences, Dr Andrew Wooff, now an incoming Associate Director of SIPR is co-lead of the Education and Leadership network. Indeed, he also co-wrote a report with Drs Shane Horgan and Andy Tatnell; ‘Pluralised responses to policing the pandemic: analysing the emergence of informal order maintenance strategies, the changing of ‘policing web’, and the impacts of COVID19 in rural communities.’

Dr Jennifer Murray collaborated on an engaging report on the ‘Estimation of risk for missing individuals: Development of an empirical risk assessment and decision support tool for missing person investigations’ and as well as this, our Edinburgh Napier Carnegie grant PhD scholar, Abigail Cunningham delivered research on ‘Encountering policing – a dialogic exploration of Scottish Pakistanis’ experience of ‘policing.’

Edinburgh Napier also leads The Scottish Centre for Policing and Public health, with Prof Nadine Dougall and Drs Inga Heyman, Andrew Tatnell and Andrew Wooff contributing ‘How cross-service collaboration can improve community safety and wellbeing – a systematic review and case study of a community hub intervention’, again showing the range of multi-disciplinary research submitted to the report.

Furthermore, Dr Shane Horgan collaborated on a report titled: ‘Influence Policing’ which looked at contemporary issues with targeted communication campaigns.

There was much more submitted by our Edinburgh Napier SIPR academics, and you can read the full annual report here: SIPR-Annual-report-2023.pdf

To find out more about SIPR and what they do, visit the site: SIPR – Scottish Institute for Policing Research

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Growing the cycling industry in Scotland

In 2023, Scotland is to host the Cycling World Championships, a two-week extravaganza that will bring together 13 international competitions in one country for the first time.

This inaugural mega event will provide an outstanding opportunity to showcase the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland (MTBCOS) research group and a new Innovation Centre at Innerleithen, in the Scottish Borders.

Edinburgh Napier University’s Professor Geraint Florida-James is playing a key role in establishing the new innovation centre – which marks an important milestone for the sport of cycling at home and worldwide. An applied researcher who is passionate about sports science and cycling, Professor Florida-James has been involved with the biking industry for nearly twenty years, also coaching athletes for the Downhill and the Cross-Country World Cups, as well as Professional Enduro Racers.

The MTBCOS is a project that started in 2014, with Edinburgh Napier University working in partnership with Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Cycling. Its role has been to help grow a Scottish cycling industry, with relevant research and help businesses take advantage of one of the country’s fastest-growing sports. The group provides support with market research, developing, testing, and launching new products.

The success of the project caught the attention of the Scottish and UK Governments and raised the profile of the sector internationally. As a result, with an additional partner, the South of Scotland Enterprise, the Centre has been fundamental in securing £19M of Borderlands Regional Growth Deal Funding to purchase the Caerlee Mill in Innerleithen, an old textile mill that has been out of use since 2013. Professor Florida-James emphasises that partnerships such as these are key for the Centre’s continued success.

Also included in the Borderlands Project is the first mechanical lift-assisted Bike Park in the Northern Hemisphere, which will be with a short ride of the Mill. Once renovated, the Mill and the surrounding world-class bike tracks will serve as an innovation site for the cycling industry ­- led by Edinburgh Napier – where new products can be developed and tested. In addition, the Hub will also explore supply chain issues and can connect local entrepreneurs with international audiences.

Professor Florida-James says, “we expect huge international interest around the 2023 Championships, which will help more companies become aware of the research and development potential here, and the potential to reshore some of the cycling industry to Scotland”.

The Centre has equally been supporting internal partners within Edinburgh Napier who are involved with mental health and wellbeing research, to identify ways cycling can boost these issues in Scotland and beyond. Various schools within the University will combine their research with the Centre through the new Innovation Hub, recognising the opportunities cycling presents for future health, wellbeing and economic development.