Conference delegates at Cumberland Lodge, the educational foundation in Windsor Great Park

Cumberland Lodge has been creating a safe space for constructive dialogue on the most pressing policing and criminal justice matters, since 1981.

Guided by our Police Steering Committee of police leaders and serving police officers we run a renowned Police Conference each year. It brings together a multi-agency delegation of senior police officers, NGO leaders, lawyers, academics and senior civil servants, to tackle a key issue at the forefront of the police agenda.

Our involvement in this arena goes back to the earliest days of the foundation, with meetings on policing matters having taken place here since the 1950s.

During the long history of the annual conference we have dealt with topics ranging from surveillance to drug abuse, multiculturalism, and relationships with the media.

Our guest speakers have included Government representatives, senior policymakers and All-Party Parliamentary Group chairs, prominent senior serving officers, NGO leaders, Police and Crime Commissioners, academics, MPs and cabinet ministers.

Last year's conference

Our 2017 conference, ‘Eliminating Slavery: Enhancing the Police Response’ was attended by 57 police representatives and stakeholders involved in the fight against modern slavery. It was hosted in our characteristic round-table format, with keynote addresses and a range of seminars and breakout sessions on specialist topics.  

Each of the seminars involved a 20-minute talk by an invited expert, followed by 40 minutes of round-table discussions and a summary question-and-answer session.  

In the breakout sessions, delegates are tasked with working in groups to consider real-life case studies of modern slavery, looking at the legal grounding for each case and how it could be effectively investigated and presented to the Crown Prosecution Service. London seminars

Follow-up seminars

In recent years we have launched an annual follow-up seminar to the Police Conference, to help take learning, outstanding action points and recommendations directly to policymakers, senior public servants and influencers in Westminster.  

This smaller-scale event typically takes place six months after the conference. 

Our 2017 seminar on ‘Eliminating Slavery: Enhancing the Police Response’ will take place at the House of Lords on Monday 30 October 2017. The previous one, on ‘A Divided Society? Challenges for Policing’, took place on 20 October 2016 at Westminster Abbey.

Steering committee

Our current Police Steering Committee members are:

  • Chief Constable Robert Beckley QPM - Lead on 'Operation Resolve' (Hillsborough investigation)
  • Detective Chief Inspector Paula Bickerdike - West Yorkshire Police
  • Chief Superintendent Chris Bourlet - Metropolitan Police (currently on secondment to the Home Office)
  • Jane Furniss CBE - Non-Executive Board Member, National Crime Agency
  • David Lloyd - Police and Crime Commissioner, Hertfordshire
  • Dr Rick Muir - Director, Police Foundation
  • Lynne Owens CBE QPM - Director General, National Crime Agency 
  • Chief Constable Sara Thornton CBE QPM (Chair) - Chairman, National Police Chiefs Council.

Learning resources

Since 2017 we have commissioned freelance Research Associates to support our work on policing and criminal justice. They are selected on an annual basis for their research expertise and specialisms in the topics we are addressing, to produce an independently researched, interdisciplinary Briefing Document ahead of the annual conference and a post-conference Summary Report.

A library of recent educational outputs from our annual Police Conference and follow-up seminars can be found here.