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Effectiveness of the Mini Police Programme

Evaluation of whether a shorter, nine-month Mini Police Programme delivers the same objectives as the year-long programme that's delivered within Avon and Somerset Police.

Key details

Lead institution
Principal researcher(s)
Alecto Shyne
Police region
South West
Project start date
Date due for completion

Research context

The Mini Police programme was rolled out in Avon and Somerset in 2017.

The aim was to provide a vital engagement tool, which could also be used as an early intervention. It aimed to engage children into their communities while understanding the role of the police and increasing trust in the service. 

The project seemed a success, but there was a call for for efficiency and the appropriate dissemination of resources. A shorter version of the programme was therefore rolled out alongside the original one, to prioritise the longer one being available to those needing it the most. 

This project seeks to examine whether a shorter, nine-month Mini Police Programme achieves its aims in comparison to the year-long Mini Police Programme.

Research methodology

Data surrounding engagement of schools and police community support officers (PCSOs) in schools will be collected through force data. 

The fieldwork is to be conducted in two waves.

First wave – a correlational design

The first wave involves a survey of both:

  • PCSOs who have delivered either the year-long or nine-week Mini Police Programme
  • teachers who have been involved in both the short and longer Mini Police Programme

The survey will be for those who have been involved any time since the 2021/22 academic year started. This consists of 38 different schools from the 2021/22 year, including:

  • 22 schools who are running a short Mini Police Programme in either term one or term two of the 2022/23 academic year
  • 29 schools running the long Mini Police Programme in 2022/23

Several of the schools running a programme last year are also delivering programmes in 2022/23.

Data will be analysed using Statistic Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and Excel by running descriptive and inferential statistics. It will be collected using Online Surveys.

Second wave – multiple case study

The second wave involves three case study schools who have completed both:

  • the academic year-long programme in 2021/22
  • a cohort in the autumn term of 2022/23 with the shorter Mini Police Programme

Each case study will involve a semi-structured interview with the lead teacher and a separate interview with the PCSO delivering the programme.

The three schools will vary in deprivation level, as this is the key characteristic responsible for which programme is meant to be provided.

Data will be collected via Teams and analysed using Thematic Analysis.

Participants - inclusion criteria

Participants will need to meet the criteria of being involved in the running of the Mini Police Programme in the Avon and Somerset Police area at any point since the start of the 2021/22 academic year.

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