The Investigative Psychology Research Unit (IPRU)
The IPRU is focused on Practitioner Focused Research, and our focus is to provide training to support Evidence Led Practice within the criminal justice system. Much of our research is done in collaboration with law enforcement agencies, clinicians, and other practitioners internationally, and by consulting with practitioners on key needs, we base our research on practice informed questions, and through research, we ultimately aim to provide empirically based and relevant research to support evidence-based training. The IPRU focuses on two areas of research and training as they pertain to law enforcement practice:
Investigative Psychology (IP) is the application of psychology to the criminal investigation process. IP looks at how best to retrieve information from the crime scene, make decisions about it, and apply it to the analysis of criminal behavior. The main aim of behavioral crime scene analysis, otherwise known as Offender Profiling, is to analyze the way an offender commits their crime, to establish discernable patterns of behavioral sub-types or series, and then link sub-types of crime scene actions to the most likely offender background characteristics, and use this in criminal investigations as a primary tool for the police to narrow their suspect pool down to statistically the most likely type of offender, and/or identify and link series of crimes. these areas have been the focus of this behavioral crime scene analysis and offender profiling research, and have been the elements that provides the basis for Evidence Led Practice, taught through our training courses to practitioners and researchers.
Positive Psychology is the science of promoting well-being and optimized lives. It is a new branch of psychology that uses scientific understanding and interventions to aid in the achievement of a flourishing life. As such it provides an additional piece to psychology by focusing not on the treatment of dysfunction, but rather on the enhancement and strengthening of human functioning. IPRU work in this area focuses on training of critical skills that allow first responders to become Resilient Practitioners. Professionals within the caring professions, particularly in the sub-field of Forensic Psychology often work with challenging and high risk populations and in situations such as mental health and crime, and are often entering first responder jobs that require long or shift hours in high risk and high stress situations such as prisons, hospitals, law enforcement and the courts, and working with clients facing emotional, psychological and legal challenges. It is well documented that professionals within these fields often suffer high levels of stress, exhaustion and burnout due to the emotional nature of their jobs. Practitioners in these fields therefore need high levels of resilience skills and resources in order to withstand the demands of these types of careers, protect their own Well-being. Healthy and flourishing people lead to professionals who lead with a disposition and energy that has a positive impact on their clients and organizations, and as such function at a higher level of effectiveness as professionals, and in addition possess the toolkits to advise their clients and organizations to flourish.