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Dr Ben Bradford
Dr Ben Bradford profile picture
  • Professor
  • Dept of Security and Crime Science
  • Faculty of Engineering Science

Ben Bradford is Professor of Global City Policing at the Department of Security and Crime Science. He is also Director of the JDI Institute for Global City Policing, an initiative joint funded by UCL, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) to promote policing research in London.

Ben's research interests include public trust, police legitimacy, cooperation and compliance in justice settings, and social identity as a factor in all these processes. He has also published on organisational justice within police agencies, ethnic and other disparities in policing, and elements of public-facing police work such as neighbourhood patrol, community engagement and stop and search. In addition to his work with the MPS and MOPAC, Ben has also collaborated with organisations including the College of Policing, Police Scotland, and West Midlands Police on a wide variety of projects.

His book, Stop and Search and Police Legitimacy, was published by Routledge in 2017. He is also editor, along with Beatrice Jauregui, Ian Loader and Jonny Steinberg, of the SAGE Handbook of Global Policing (2016), and co-author, with Kevin Morrell, of Policing and Public Management (Routledge 2018).

Research Summary

Current Projects:

CONSIL: From coercion to consent: social identity, legitimacy and a process model of police procedural justice.  This project, a collaboration between UCL, LSE, and Keele University, commenced in September 2019. It will use innovative virtual reality and ethnographic approaches to consider how police-public interactions can be managed in such a way as to enhance consent-based relations. 

Public trust and police diversity. Closely linked to CONSIL, this project is considering the specific question of whether workforce diversity in policing might enhance public trust and legitimacy. This is the first UK-based study to have examine this issue in depth.

Organisational justice in comparative perspective. This project, a partnership with the VERA Institute for Justice and the Open Societies Foundation, involves a comparative evaluation of organizational change processes in two police organizations, one in the UK (WMP) and one in the US (Arlington, TX). In both sites reform based on principles of procedural justice has been implemented, and we seek to draw lessons about how best to implement change programmes that aim to enhance relations between police and public.

Public perceptions of armed police. This MOPAC-funded study is using survey-based and experimental methods to explore how people living in London think about armed police. Why might they support or oppose the routine arming of more officers? What effect do events such as terror attacks have on people' attitudes? Do views on armed police vary significantly across the population?

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