By Piotr Teodorowski
In January, I had the pleasure of delivering a hybrid workshop for Merseyside Police on engaging seldom-heard communities. The focus was especially on migrants and ethnic minorities. This one and half hour session aimed to provide an opportunity for police officers from the Prevention to reflect on their engagement with the local community.
During the first half, I discussed who are seldom-heard communities and how to identify them for various projects. Attendees could learn about intersectionality and superdiversity and how these relate to seldom-heard communities. We reflected on barriers and facilitators for a meaningful engagement. This was followed by a practical exercise where participants attending the workshop in person mapped how to engage their chosen seldom-heard communities using the Capability-Opportunity-Motivation-Behaviour (COM-B) model (by Michie and colleagues).
A police officer attending the session commented: “I thought the length of the workshop was the right amount of time. It was interesting; I would like to see how this could be applied to the police. I think it would be good for the academic to attend some of our engagement events to educate or provide insight into how we could improve as a Force.”
The workshop was based on my current doctoral research on involving and engaging seldom-heard communities in big data research and some previous studies, such as the impact of Brexit on mental health and well-being of EU citizens.