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School of Justice Studies

Laura Boulton

Biography

Dr Laura Boulton is a Senior Lecturer at the Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies.

Previously she was a Senior Lecturer in Policing at the University of Central Lancashire and was seconded to Lancashire Constabulary for as their Academic Lead for the Evidence-Based Research Hub.

Providing an evidence base that can be utilised by Police practitioners to impact change in practice was the underlying motivation for her research. She has published a range of journal articles with a focus on policing and decision making. During Laura's time a UCLan, she was principle investigator for multiple research projects, including an examination into return to home interviews, an evaluation of drug related death panels in Blackpool and the long term implications of a project relating to the prevention of serious and organised crime involvement in Manchester.

Laura completed her Psychology PhD in 2014 at the University of Liverpool. Under the supervision of Professor Jon Cole, her thesis examined how cognition, executive functioning, expertise and human factors influence the decision making of Authorised Firearms Officers during armed confrontations.

Her external networks include being a judge for the Tilley awards as well as involvement in the International Network for the Prevention and Investigation of Child Death, the Decision Making Under Uncertainty Network, the Tactical Decision-Making research group and the Armed Policing research network. She also peer reviews articles for five journals and is an article editor for SAGE Open journal. 

Having completed her Post Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (PGCert LTHE), she is now a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Degrees

2018, University of Central Lancashire, UK, PGCert LTHE
2014, University of Liverpool, UK, PhD
2007, University of Liverpool, UK, BA Hons

Academic appointments

Senior Lecturer, Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing, Liverpool John Moores University, 2020 - present
Senior Lecturer, Policing, School of Forensic and Applied Sciences, University of Central Lancashire, 2018 - 2020
Lecturer, Policing, School of Forensic and Applied Sciences, University of Central Lancashire, 2016 - 2018
Post-doctoral Research Assistant, Policing, School of Forensic and Applied Sciences, University of Central Lancashire, 2014 - 2016

Publications

Report

McManus M, Boulton L. 2020. Evaluation of Integrated Multi-Agency Operational Safeguarding Arrangements in Wales

McManus M, Boulton L, Hesketh R, Corteen K. 2020. Evaluation of Integrated Multi-Agency Operational Safeguarding Arrangements in Wales. An interim report for the National Independent Safeguarding Board Wales and the Welsh Government.

Phythian R, Kirby S, Birdsall N, Cox C, Boulton L. 2020. Wellbeing in Policing: Blue Light Wellbeing Framework. A report for Lancashire Constabulary and Oscar Kilo.

Boulton L, Phythian R, Birdsall N. 2020. Blackpool's Drug Related Death and Non-Fatal Overdose Review Panel: A Process Evaluation

Phythian R, Kirby S, Birdsall N, Cooper E, Posner Z, Boulton L. 2019. Wellbeing in Policing: Landscape Review. A report for Lancashire Constabulary and Oscar Kilo.

Boulton L, Coleman R, Kirby S, Richardson B. 2018. Exploring the long-term impact of interventions to divert young people from involvement in serious and organised crime: A research report for Greater Manchester Police and the Home Office.

Kirby S, Frampton C, Shorrock S, Okeke R, McManus M, Boulton L, Metcalfe L, Coleman R, Isherwood L. 2017. The Early Action Programme Final Evaluation

Cooper E, Birdsall N, Boulton L. Understanding 'Sextortion' Incidents with the Lancashire Constabulary.

Birdsall N, Kirby S, Phythian R, Boulton L, Cooper E. Mental Health Demand in Lancashire. A report for Lancashire Constabulary.

Boulton L, Phythian R, Kirby S. Police Research Evaluation Framework (PREF): Taking an evidence-based approach to evidence-based policing research. A report for Lancashire Constabulary.

Kirby S, Boulton L. The PCSO Challenger Project. A report for Greater Manchester Police and the Home Office.

Birdsall N, McManus M, Brian D, Boulton L. Surveying Lancashire: Expectations and experiences of Lancashire Constabulary and its associated partners. A report for Lancashire Constabulary.

Boulton L, Cole J. A cognitive task analysis of Authorised Firearms Officers’ tactical decision making in armed confrontations. A report for Merseyside Police.

Chapters

Kirby S, Phythian R, Boulton L. 2020. Exploring the currency of violence in Serious Organised Crime (SOC) Ireland C, Lewis M, Ireland J, Lopez A. The Handbook of Collective Violence: Current Developments and Understanding Taylor & Francis (Routledge) 9780429197420 DOI Publisher Url Public Url

Suss J, Boulton L. 2019. Expertise in Law Enforcement Ward P, Schraagen JM, Gore J, Roth E. The Oxford Handbook of Expertise Oxford University Press 9780192515414 DOI Publisher Url Public Url

Journal article

Suss J, Boulton L. 2019. Expertise in Law Enforcement :764-791 DOI

Boulton LJ, Phythian R, Kirby S. 2019. Diverting young men from gangs: a qualitative evaluation Policing: an international journal of police strategies and management, 42 :887-900 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Sidebottom A, Boulton L, Cockbain E, Halford E, Phoenix J. 2019. Missing children: risks, repeats and responses Policing and Society: an international journal of research and policy, DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Kirby S, McManus M, Boulton L. 2018. Examining the demographic profile and attitudes of citizens, in areas where organized crime groups proliferate Trends in Organized Crime, 21 :172-188 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Boulton L, McManus M, Metcalfe L, Brian D, Dawson I. 2017. Calls for police service: Understanding the demand profile and the UK police response The Police Journal, 90 :70-85 DOI Publisher Url Public Url

Boulton L, Cole J. 2016. Adaptive flexibility: Examining the role of expertise in the decision making of authorized firearms officers during armed confrontation Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making, 10 :291-308 DOI Publisher Url Public Url

McManus MA, Almond L, Cubbon B, Boulton L, Mears I. 2016. Exploring the Online Communicative Themes of Child Sex Offenders Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, 13 :166-179 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Internet publication

Boulton L, Power N, Brown O. Terror attacks: How psychological research can help improve the emergency response Author Url

Conference publication

Boulton L. Exploring the Decision Making of Police Officers Investigating Cases of Child Abuse within the Family Gore J, Ward P. NDM13: 13th International Conference on Naturalistic Decision Making Publisher Url Public Url

Engagement & Impact

Other Professional Activity:

Sifting judge for The 2019/20 Tilley Awards. 2020

Conference presentation:

Missing children: Risks, repeats and responses, 4th International Conference on Missing Persons and Adults, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK, Oral presentation. 2019

Identifying Risk Factors of Intra-familial Child Homicide: A Triad Effect and the Role of the Invisible Father, Annual Conference of the European Association of Psychology and Law, Turku, Finland, Oral presentation. 2018

Exploring the Decision Making of Police Officers Investigating Cases of Child Abuse Within the Family, 13th International Conference on Naturalistic Decision Making, University of Bath, Bath, UK, Oral presentation. 2017

Decision time: Exploring SIO decision making during child death investigation’, Advances in preventing and investigating suspicious child death workshop, University of Huddersfield, Oral presentation. 2017

Exploring SIO decision making during child death investigation., Homicide Working Group, Child-Death Sub-Group, National Conference, Leicester Marriott Hotel, Leicester, UK, Oral presentation. 2017

The 7th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics, Adaptive Flexibility: Examining the Role of Expertise in the Decision Making of Authorised Firearms Officers during Armed Confrontation., Orlando, USA, Oral presentation. 2016

DECISION MAKING AND BIAS, Child Homicide, Lancaster House Hotel, Lancaster, UK, Oral presentation. 2016

Surveying Lancashire: Expectations and experiences of Lancashire Constabulary and its associated partners, POLCON 6, Staffordshire University, Staffordshire, UK, Oral presentation. 2015

Research Grants Awarded:

College of Policing, Wellbeing in Policing: Landscape Review., Phythian, R., Kirby, S., Birdsall, N., Cooper, E., Posner, Z., & Boulton, L., Grant value (£): £29,983, Duration of research project: 12 months. 2019

Home Office, Heroin and Crack Cocaine Action Area Evaluation, Boulton, L., Phythian, R., Birdsall, N., Grant value (£): £9,956.22, Duration of research project: 12 months. 2019

Lancashire Constabulary, Evidence Based Policing Hub secondment 2019-20, Boulton, L., Phythian, R., Birdsall, N., & Cooper, E., Grant value (£): £41,666, Duration of research project: 12 months. 2019

UCLan research catalyst scheme, Return to Home Interviews, Grant value (£): £3,818.22, Duration of research project: 3 months. 2019

UCLan FAS Research and Innovation Services, Writing Retreat, Birdsall, N., Kirby, S., Boulton, L., Phythian, R., & Cooper, E., Grant value (£): £1,143.60. 2019

Lancashire Constabulary, Evidence Based Policing Hub secondment 2018-19, Kirby, S., Boulton, L., Phythian, R., Birdsall, N., & Cooper, E., Grant value (£): £50,000, Duration of research project: 12 months. 2018

NPCC, Wellbeing in Policing: Blue Light Wellbeing Framework., Phythian, R., Kirby, S., Birdsall, N., Cox, C., & Boulton, L., Grant value (£): £31,156.86, Duration of research project: 12 months. 2018

Home Office, Engage Evaluation, Boulton, L., Coleman, R., Kirby S., & Richardson, B., Grant value (£): £19,928.42, Duration of research project: 12 months. 2017

Lancashire Constabulary, Evidence Based Policing Hub secondment 2017-18, Kirby, S., Boulton, L., Phythian, R., & Birdsall, N., Grant value (£): £50,000, Duration of research project: 12 months. 2017

Police Innovation Fund, Home Office, Lancashire Early Action Initiative, Kirby, S., Frampton, C., Shorrock, S., Okeke, R., McManus, M., Boulton, L., Metcalfe, L., Coleman, R., & Isherwood, L, Grant value (£): £140,000.

UCLan Research Committee, Hydra, Grant value (£): £3,956.40.

UCLan Research Committee, Student research equipment, Grant value (£): £4,643.20.