The former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, is to co-direct a new training programme for senior police executives in India, led by the University of Cambridge.

The University’s Institute of Criminology signed an agreement with the National Police Academy of India today (Thursday, March 11th), under which it will provide mid-career training for 420 police executives.

The three-year initiative will begin later in 2010 and will be co-directed by Lawrence Sherman, the University’s Wolfson Professor of Criminology, and Sir Ian Blair, the former Scotland Yard Police Commissioner and one of the UK’s most experienced leaders in strategic policing and change management.

Participants will be drawn from the elite 3,500-member Indian Police Service. Its members constitute the top tier of Indian policing, with collective responsibility for some 2 million police staff.

Working in groups of 140, the trainees will take part in eight week courses, six of which will be spent in India, followed by a further fortnight’s training in Cambridge.

Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology was selected by the Indian Government following an international competition which involved tenders from a number of other universities from the UK, US, Australia and India itself. It will provide the training in partnership with Cambridge Executive Education, the executive training arm of the University’s Judge Business School.

The University already runs a Police Executive Programme, which has offered both a Master’s Degree and Diploma in Applied Criminology and Police Management and has been running since 1995.

Working in collaboration with the UK’s National Police Leadership College at Bramshill, the Institute of Criminology has educated almost 200 of the UK’s chief police officers, including more than 30 chief constables. Its Police Executive Programme, founded by Emeritus Professor Sir Anthony Bottoms, currently enrols more than 80 senior police executives from the UK, US, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Under the guidance of Professor Sherman, who was appointed Director of the Programme in 2007, its focus is now becoming more international with the support of an Advisory Board which comprises current and former Police Commissioners from Singapore, South Australia, Sweden, Hong King and India as well as UK Police chiefs and internationally renowned academics. The India training programme marks the latest step in that globalisation programme.

Speaking at the signing of the £2.4million contract in Hyderabad, Professor Sherman said: “This agreement represents the steady integration of the science of criminology with the profession of police leadership, following the path laid out at Cambridge in 1959 by the University’s first Professor of Criminology, Sir Leon Radzinowicz.”

“That path will lead to increasing recognition of the great complexity of policing, placing the knowledge base supporting the profession on a par with medicine or engineering.”

Professor Friedrich Losel, Director of the Institute of Criminology at the University of Cambridge, said: “It is very pleasing to see so much hard work come to fruition. As we celebrate our first 50 years at Cambridge, the Institute of Criminology is honoured to have been chosen for this mission by the Indian Police Service. Their decision is the clearest example of the global primacy of Cambridge in applying criminology to policing.”

Cambridge will be joined in the contract by its Indian partner, the brand-new OP Jindahl Global University of Sinipat in the State of Haryana, north of New Delhi. Further details on the Cambridge Police Executive Programme are available at:  

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