Tim Metcalfe is a part-time DPhil student researching issues of institutional behaviour and legitimacy within policing. He is supervised by Professor Ian Loader. Tim joined the Centre for Criminology in 2016 having previously studied History, Politics and Economics at London University as an undergraduate, and completed Masters degrees in Modern History (London), Criminology (Leicester) and an MBA (Birmingham). He is a serving police superintendent currently working as the Chief of Staff to the Chair of the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC).


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  • T Metcalfe, 'Shifting the blame: towards a self-reforming police service in England and Wales.' (2017) International journal of emergency services.
    The police service has been encouraged to become a “self-reforming sector”, yet there is an acknowledgement of a “blame culture” within the policing. The purpose of this paper is to explore the barriers to “self-reform”, as identified by chief officers, and propose a series of strategies to help inform the future of police leadership. The research is primarily underpinned by a series of semi-structured interviews with chief constables and a series of four workshops. The paper argues that contemporary police cultures, and approaches to failure, are not conducive to the realisation of a “self-reforming” sector. It is proposed that strategic future leaders should consider establishing a common process for organisational learning whilst simultaneously encouraging cultural change that de-stigmatises failure and supports the development of adaptive and networked learning organisations. The research is limited by exclusively drawing on the perspective of chief officers and does not engage a representative cross section of the police service. The absence of detailed analysis of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary findings to complement the review of IPCC recommendations is a limitation that weakens subsequent conclusions. Finally, this research would benefit considerations of potential structural and organisational changes that would support the realisation of a “self-reforming sector”. This research supports work by the National Police Chiefs’ Council to deliver police reform. The paper is informed by new and original qualitative research explicitly focused on the perspective of senior police leaders


Research Interests

Policing and law enforcement


Institutional and organisational behaviours

Police culture and leadership

Police governance

Organisational learning

Research projects