Project Harpocrates scholarship for police staff seeking a career in covert investigations and intelligence

Three police staff have been awarded scholarships to study on Liverpool John Moores University innovative Covert Investigation and Specialist Intelligence course commencing this academic year.

The police staff, drawn from Nottinghamshire Police, West Midlands Police and British Transport Police, secured the scholarship opportunity under an initiative known as Project Harpocrates. The project seeks to support law enforcement efforts to recruit and retain staff in the highly specialist area of covert operations and specialist intelligence.  Whilst the project was open to all officers one of the specific aims of the project is to increase the representation of  Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff (BAME)  in this challenging and exciting area of investigation and intelligence management.

The selection process was coordinated by Merseyside Police Chief Constable Andy Cooke in his capacity as the National Police Chief’s Council lead for Crime. Speaking on news of the scholarship awards, he said  “I fully support the initiative which recognises the importance of Covert Investigations and Specialist Intelligence in helping policing tackle crime.  The project will help provide a platform to develop an academic evidence base to improve our operational effectiveness whilst raising the awareness of the importance of covert policing amongst our workforce. I am particularly encouraged to see the interest across underrepresented groups which will hopefully build an enthusiasm and momentum to assist our drive to reflect our communities”.

The project was supported by Dr Dan Silverstone, the Director of the School of Justice Studies and the founder of the  Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing (LCAPS). Commenting on the project he said, “It is so important the police service continues to diversify to reflect the communities it represents and this includes promoting diversity in specialised areas of policing. We are very pleased to sponsor this initiative”.

The programme can be studied at postgraduate certificate, diploma and MSc levels and is taught by way of distance learning undertaken on a part time basis. The modules include Human Intelligence (HUMINT),  the forensic elicitation of intelligencecovert techniques: legislation and operational capabilities and operational ethics.  This programme is unique within higher education. It is designed to be as current and challenging as possible, but flexible enough to accommodate professionals working operationally in the covert and specialist intelligence field.

The project was an initiative by Dr Ian Stanier, the programme lead. He said “Covert tactics are central to effective investigation against the upper echelons of criminality including terrorism. A diverse workforce brings with it better decision making, enhanced community insight, higher workforce engagement, a wider variety of perspectives and, importantly, improved operational success”. The course commences September 2020 with a second entry on January 2021. If you are interested in enrolling on this course, please contact Dr Ian Stanier, via  The programme welcomes students, who may not have an undergraduate degree but do hold significant professional experience in the disciplines of intelligence, investigation and/or covert operations.


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