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Sample of PEG Projects

Monitoring Lethal Force

Dr. Abi Dymond, Professor Brian Rappert, and Professor Stephen Skinner completed this Open Society Foundations funded project in 2021 with research partners. This project focused on the use of lethal force in policing and law enforcement operations in Western Europe, and specifically in the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands and Belgium. It investigated the availability, types, bases and extent of data about deaths occurring in the context of the use of force in such operations. Its key aim was to support the production of detailed, reliable, and publicly accessible information for each individual death and deaths overall in a jurisdiction as a necessary step towards ensuring the accountability of law enforcement agencies. Click here for the external project website.

Digital Forensics in Policing: An Ethnographic Analysis of Current Practices

Dr. Dana Wilson-Kovacs, along with Professor Sabina Leonelli, Professor Brian Rappert are working on an ESRC-funded grant (2018-2021) on digital forensics.  This project will provide a theoretically grounded and empirically based ethnographic analysis of the digital forensic resources, practices and expertise mobilised to provide intelligence for on-going investigations and aid the prosecution of suspects.  It aims to illuminate how the usefulness of digital evidence in crime detection can be maximized, while preserving ethical acceptability, civil liberties and protecting both the victims and the wrongly accused. Click here for the external project website

Use of Force in Law Enforcement

Dr. Abi Dymond received an ESRC Future Research Leader's Award (2017-2020) to develop her inter-connected research programmes related to police use of force.  Based on her PhD research into Taser use in England and Wales, Dr. Dymond was invited to join a police-led strategic review into the reporting of all types of force used in policing.  Her survey results and recommendations for police reporting of use of force contributed directly to the new national use of force reporting system introduced in April 2017.  Click here for more information.        

New Report: Police Use of Force

In 2020, NPCC and College of Policing pledge to improve officer and staff safety based on research evidence which includes analysis of use of force data conducted by University of Exeter's Abi Dymond and Katharine Boyd, as well as College of Policing's Paul Quinton and Rebecca Teers. The report presents results from analysis of 45,661 use of force records made during 2017/18 in 16 police forces.  Analysis showed that odds of assault and injury were both increased when officers: were single-crewed; drew, but did not use, irritant spray; physically used a baton, irritant spray, limb restraints or unarmed force, or discharged Taser; and used force to protect themselves or others. Abi Dymond was quoted in the University of Exeter press release for the publication as saying, 'of course statistics have limitations, and these are a record of police perception of incidents. But this data offers unique - if tentative - conclusions about public and officer safety, and the police use of force more broadly. They should encourage policymakers, senior police leaders and the frontline to think, reflect and take appropriate action in order to help officers manage conflict and improve safety for all.' 

You can access the report Police use of force: Tactics, assaults and safety here.

Tracing Harm Trajectories in Domestic Abuse

Dr. Katharine Boyd has lead research on domestic abuse in collaboration with Devon and Cornwall Police, originating from a Project Generation Forum (PGF) that was held as part of the ExPERT Project.  Dr. Boyd subsequently undertook a replication of a Bland and Ariel (2015) study that looked at escalation of harm in domestic abuse cases and then expanded upon the original study by analysing the domestic abuse harm perpetrated by serial offenders and suffered by serial victims in Devon and Cornwall (June 2014-October 2016).  Devon and Cornwall Police hosted a 'Why Workshop' in 2017 with individuals from the police, academia, and third-sector to discuss preliminary results of the study and identify research questions and hypotheses to be further tested.  Following the workshop, Dr. Boyd secured an ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) Project Co-Creation Award (2018-2019) to further explore why a de-escalation of harm across domestic abuse incidents were found in the replication study and key characteristics of the offenders of disproportionate harm are. 

Embedded Research Fellowships: Knowledge Exchange

University of Exeter and Devon and Cornwall Police have continued their collaborative work post-ExPERT, in part, by supporting embedded Research Fellows to work on promoting evidence-based practice in policing.  Dr. Dreolin Fleischer (previously worked as a Research Fellow on ExPERT and #RU2Drunk) and Dr. Ashley Frayling (Lecturer in Criminology at UoE and Special Constable within DCP) have worked as Research Fellows embedded in DCP separately and simultaneously in varying capacities since April 2017.  Funding has come from both organizations, as well as individual ESRC IAA grant awards.     

Exeter Policing, Evidence, and Research Translation (ExPERT)

The Exeter Policing, Evidence, and Research Translation Project was a strategic alliance between the Devon and Cornwall Police force, the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) and a cross-disciplinary group of staff members (Boyd, Farrimond, Lang, Pearson & Rappert) at the University of Exeter; funded by the College of Policing, Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), and the Home Office under a grant from the Police Knowledge Fund (2015-2017).  The project developed and sustained capacity amongst police officers and staff for evidence-based practice and improved collaborations between the police and academia.  Click here for the external project website.


Research on an initiative where door staff of licenced premises breathalyse patrons upon entry, with an aim to reduce alcohol-related crime and disorder in the evening and night time economy (ENTE), as well as increase positive perceptions of the public safety in the ENTE.  In December 2014, Drs. Farrimond and Boyd conducted a pilot study of #RU2Drunk in Torquay.  The #RU2Drunk initiative ran in the South-West from the 1st of December 2014 to the 1st of January 2015.  It was funded by South Devon Police and involved non-police personnel (door/bar staff) within the evening and night time economy (ENTE) of Torquay using hand-held breathalysers to identify those 'too drunk' to enter clubs or pubs.  In 2016, funding from the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) made it possible for Drs. Farrimond and Boyd to conduct further research on #RU2Drunk with Research Fellow Dr. Fleischer, including a roll-out of the initiative in Weymouth, Dorset.