Karen Cummings

School of Justice Studies

Karen is a former Merseyside Police officer having retired from policing in January 2018 as the Head of the Merseyside Police Professional Standards and Anti-Corruption Department. Whilst operating for most of her career in the investigation and major crime strand of policing she has a diverse policing background having operated across the ranks up to Detective Chief Superintendent.
As a career Detective Karen has had a significant footprint across major crime, homicide and kidnap investigation, operating for a number of years as the force lead on homicide. She also has experience of working within an Intelligence arena overseeing Threat harm and risk, organised crime group mapping and Authorising Officer (RIPA) duties.
In 2007 Karen was accredited as a Senior Investigating Officer by the College of Policing and spent a number of years at different ranks as an SIO on the Merseyside Force Major Incident team. In 2013 she completed the College of Policing PIP 4 course accrediting her in the Strategic Management of Complex cases.
As Head of Professional Standards and the anti-corruption department her role involved dealing with police misconduct, death after police contact issues, complaints against police and internal corruption.
In 2004 Karen completed the national Hostage Negotiators course and subsequently trained and operated as a Hostage negotiator co-ordinator and Counter Terrorism negotiator co-ordinator. Prior to retiring, she was the North West regional negotiator lead covering Merseyside, GMP, North Wales, PSNI, Cheshire, Cumbria and the Isle of Mann. This role involved anything from crisis management in suicide and mental health scenario’s to siege scenarios to high profile CT issues (including the Manchester arena bomb response).
Karen holds a Master’s degree in Critical and Major Incident Psychology from Liverpool University and in 2014 attended the FBI National Academy Programme at Quantico, Virginia. During the four month programme she worked with US and International colleagues studying Applied criminology, Death Investigation, Violent offender characteristics and Behavioural analysis of offending as well as Studies in International law enforcement.


2019, Liverpool University, United Kingdom, MSc Critical & Major Incident Psychology