Join us for the renowned Cumberland Lodge Police Conference, now in its 40th year, taking place online this year, on 17–18 June 2021. This year our theme is ‘Towards Justice: Law Enforcement & Reconciliation’.
A cross-sector delegation of representatives from all levels of the police is meeting with historians, legal professionals, charity representatives, academics, senior civil servants and future leaders, for a virtual conference over two days, to discuss the role of police in investigating past injustices in the UK and contributing towards an inclusive process of community healing.
Drawing on experiences from the UK and overseas, we examine how law enforcement can contribute to community reconciliation and the pursuit of wider social justice.
Our annual Police Conference series began in 1981. Every summer, it convenes an influential, cross-sector gathering of speakers and delegates to stimulate fresh thinking on key issues regarding the relationship between the police and society. The current chair of our Police Conference Steering Committee is Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney QPM of Hampshire Constabulary.
This virtual conference addresses the following questions:
- How should we respond to moral shifts in society, which turn actions of the past that were once considered legitimate or ordinary into crimes, or acts of discrimination or oppression?
- How do we respond to new social and ethical standards for judging the past?
- What are we trying to achieve with investigations of past harm – and how can other, non-police actors be involved in the process of creating accountability, without focusing on blame?
- Beyond police investigations, how can prominent public inquiries or independent panels contribute to addressing past wrongs?
- What can public institutions learn from victim experience, and what should the role of victims and their testimonies be in investigations into past injustices?
- How can we ensure both high levels of independent scrutiny and accessible communication in the relationship between the state and the media?
This year's participatory sessions on Zoom explore:
- Putting the past right
- The experience of Northern Ireland
- Justice, accountability and blame
- Victims' perspectives
- The challenges of investigation
- The state and the media
There are opportunities for Q&A, group discussion and breakout-room sessions throughout, and the entire conversation is held under the Chatham House Rule, to enable frank and productive conversations.
For some of our small-group discussion sessions we will be joined by people who will be sharing their personal lived experience of being a victim of past harm.
All registered participants will receive a conference pack before the event, with our conference handbook and independent briefing document.
On Thursday evening, time is allocated for informal networking with fellow participants, for which we encourage you to bring along your own food and drink.
For those who would like to enjoy a taste of the Cumberland Lodge experience from home, we will be sending out a recipe card with a short video demo from our Head Chef Rob Szewczyk, with your conference pack. If you have the chance to try out the recipe in time for our networking session, do please share photos of the results and bring it along to enjoy with your fellow conference participants!
Guest speakers for this event include:
Assistant Commissioner Robert Beckley QPM - Overall Command of the Hillsborough investigation
Professor Coral Dando - Professor of Psychology, University of Westminster
Richard Fewkes - National Co-ordinator of Operation Hydrant
Sir Robert Francis QC - Barrister, Serjeants' Inn Chambers
Sir George Hamilton QPM - Former Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI)
Professor Jean Hartley - Professor of Public Leadership, The Open University
Susan Hemming CBE - Director of Legal Services, Crown Prosecution Services (CPS)
Dr Emma Ireton - Senior Lecturer in Dispute Resolution, Nottingham Law School
Michael Lockwood - Director General, The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC)
Sean O'Neill - Chief Reporter, The Times
Danny Shaw - Head of Strategy and Insight, Crest Advisory
Key themes of discussion and cross-sector recommendations from this conference will be presented, later this year, in a Cumberland Lodge Report.
The draft report, prepared by our independent freelance Research Associate, Martina Feilzer (Professor in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Bangor University), will be reviewed and refined during an expert consultation in September, before being launched in central London and published online and in print. Conference delegates will have the chance to be listed as contributors to the report, along with the guest speakers from our preparatory webinar series.
We warmly welcome all registrations of interest in attending, but attendance is by invitation only, to ensure a broad and balanced representation.
If you would like to join this two-day virtual conference, please follow the 'Make Enquiry' button on this webpage to let us know how and why you would like to contribute.
Tickets are £100 per person, and online payment will be requested once your place at the conference is confirmed.
Tickets are available at a reduced rate for charity representatives or anyone on a low income. Please email Emily Gow (Programme Officer) at email@example.com for full details of eligibility.
Thanks to the generous support of the Dawes Trust, we are pleased to be able to offer a limited number of bursaries for this conference, to help doctoral students working in relevant fields to take part, free of charge.
To apply for a bursary, please download the application form on this webpage and email it to Emily Gow at firstname.lastname@example.org, by 12pm midday on Friday 9 April 2021.
Useful links and resources
This winter, we have hosted three public webinars on themes relating to this conference, to help set the scene for our discussions in June. Each has been accompanied by a short briefing document to help inform the debate.
If you missed any of our webinars, or would like to watch or listen to them again, you will find the recordings (along with the relevant briefing documents to read on-screen or download) and associated blog posts, here.
- Responding to Past Harms
- Insights into Truth and Reconciliation
- Victim Perspectives on Past Injustices
Our media partner for this year's conference is Policing Insight, the independent digital magazine focusing on the governance, management and politics of policing.