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Dr Helen Selby-Fell

Profile summary

Professional biography

Dr Helen Selby-Fell holds a Senior Lectureship in the Faculty of Business & Law (FBL) and is Research & Scholarship Lead for the Department of Policing Organisation and Practice (POP), and a member of the POP Leadership Team. Helen is currently Module Chair and is involved in both production and presentation for a number of policing related modules. Helen also works closely with the Centre for Police Research & Learning (CPRL) and sits on the SCiLAB Working Group.

Before she joined the OU, Helen held the role of Programme Lead for the Policing & Forensic Psychology BSc (and a Senior Lectureship) at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). Prior to joining academia full-time, Helen has almost fifteen years’ experience working in the police service. For most of her career, Helen held the role of Head of Corporate Analysis & Research at Merseyside police (having joined the force as an Analyst in 2003), leading a large team of analysts and researchers in the Strategic Development Department at the force HQFor the last three years of her police service career, Helen was seconded to the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner (OPCC) for Merseyside, where she held the role of Director of Commissioning, Policy & Research. In this role Helen chaired the Merseyside Community Safety Leads Commissioning Group and sat on various national working groups (working with the MoJ and APCC). During this time Helen also successfully completed the Commissioning Academy's Development Programme for Senior Leaders in the Public Sector (awarded by the Cabinet Office).

Throughout her academic career, Helen has worked closely with police forces and a range of law enforcement & criminal justice organisations; for example she has been a member of various Academic Steering Groups for police forces, has worked with the College of Policing to inform the national 'Evidence- Based Policing' (EBP) agenda, was appointed ‘Academic Advisor’ to the National Crime Agency (NCA) on a long term project, and has recently worked with OPAL (the National Intelligence Unit for Serious Organised Acquisitive Crime). Helen has published and presented her work widely, and for a number of years Helen lectured on the College of Policing's 'International Police Leadership' programme. During her career in the police service, she regularly provided conference presentations and guest lectures to a number of universities and police forces (across the UK and internationally) and is passionate about bridging academic principles with policy and practice.

Before she joined the police service, Helen obtained a BA (Hons) in Psychology with Sociology and an MSc in Investigative (Forensic) Psychology from the University of Liverpool. Helen then studied part-time for her PhD in Applied Policing & Criminology whilst working in the police service. Her PhD research explored the conceptulisation of EBP and the challenges associated with embedding EBP in the police service.

Research interests

Much of Helen’s work relating to Evidence Based Practice (EBP), has explored the challenges (and facilitators) associated with embedding an EBP approach in the police service. Helen has wide ranging research interests including EBP & decision making, the role of police analysts in the police service, and forensic psychology in policing. 

Linked to her interest in crime analysis, Helen has recently undertaken work to explore various facets of ‘dog theft’ (working with Dr Daniel Allen from Keele University). This research has provided an insight into the extent and nature of the problem in England & Wales, as well as providing an insight into 'victim impact'. The work has also highlighted the limitations and caveats associated with various sources of ‘dog theft’ data (in particular, police data). Helen & Daniel worked with a number of police forces, animal charities and other organisations throughout the duration of the research, including OPAL (the National Intelligence Unit for Serious Organised Acquisitive Crime). Their early research findings were used to inform OPAL’s ‘National Dog Theft Summary’ (circulated to all forces in England & Wales in March 2021). During the Spring 2021, Helen attended meetings with the Home Office, DEFRA and the MoJ to discuss their research. In April 2021 the government set up a ‘Pet Theft Taskforce’ to gather evidence to understand the problem, and to recommend measures to tackle it. Helen & Daniel were invited to present to the Taskforce where they outlined their early research findings and offered recommendations, including the need to introduce a specific ‘crime type’ for dog theft. In September 2021 the Home Office published the ‘Pet Theft Taskforce Policy Paper’ report in which Helen & Daniel's research was heavily cited (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pet-theft-taskforce-report). The report made a number of recommendations designed to tackle the theft of dogs, including the development of legislative options for a new “pet abduction” offence (to acknowledge the welfare of sentient animals). 

Helen is currently supervising 2 PhD students; one of whom is examining the sustainability of police-academic partnerships in the UK, and the other is exploring the role of big data in the context of crime analysis in the police service (UK and Dubai).

Teaching interests

Helen holds a Post-Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice and FHEA status. Helen has been involved in production and presentation for a number of policing related modules, and is currently Module Chair for a level 6 module.

In her previous SL role Helen designed and delivered a new suite of undergraduate and postgraduate modules & programmes relating to 'Evidence Based- Practice' (EBP). In this role role Helen went on to be the Lead for 'Advanced Research Methods' accross all MSc policing programmes (and co-led the postgraduate dissertation module). Linked to this, Helen has much experience in the supervision of dissertation students, in particular, serving police officers/ staff. 

Helen's teaching interests and experience also includes forensic psychology, crime analysis and contemporary issues in policing.

Impact and engagement

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS AND CONFERENCES

Fenton-O’Creevy, M., Miller, N., Selby-Fell, H. & Bowles, B. (in press). Policing the pandemic: Deciding and acting in the face of uncertainty and the unexpected. In: Dickinson, H., Smith, C., Yates, S. & O’Flynn, J. Research Handbook on Public Management and COVID-19. Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.

Selby-Fell, H. & Roach, J. (in press). Police & Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and Policing. In: Corteen, K., Steele, R., Cross, N. & McManus. Forensic Psychology, Crime and Policing: Key Issues and Practical Debates. The Bristol University Press.

Roach, J.& Selby-Fell. (in press). Policing & Forensic Psychology. In: Corteen, K., Steele, R., Cross, N. & McManus. Forensic Psychology, Crime and Policing: Key Issues and Practical Debates. The Bristol University Press.

Selby-Fell, H & Newton, A. (2022). Embedding Evidence Based Policing (EBP): A UK Case Study Exploring Organisational Challenges. The Police Journal: Theory, Practice & Principles. https://doi.org/10.1177/0032258X221128404

Miller, N., Fenton-O’Creevy, M., Selby-Fell, H., & Bowles, B. (2022). Policing Uncertainty, Decisions and Actions in a National Emergency. Paper presented at the Royal Society Science meeting: Confronting radical uncertainty, Royal Society, London.

Allen, D., Arathoon, J. & Selby-Fell, H. (2022). Experiences of dog theft and spatial practices of searching. The Geographical Journal. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/geoj.12474

Fenton-O’Creevy, M., Miller, N., Selby-Fell, H. & Bowles, B. (2022). Policing Uncertainty, Decisions and Actions in a National Emergency. A report on findings to the participating forces. Centre for Police Research & Learning (CPRL), The Open University. Unpublished (confidential report for participating forces).

Selby-Fell, H. and Allen, D. (2021). The Nature & Extent of Dog Theft in England & Wales. Presented at the inaugural Pet Theft Taskforce meeting. Pet Theft Taskforce - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Home Office and Ministry of Justice with operational partners. 12th May 2021, London.

Williams, E., Selby-Fell, H., & Miller, N. (2021). Resilience of Evidence based Policing. Centre for Police Research & Learning (CPRL), Annual Conference: Resilience in Policing and Publics. Monday 26th April - Thursday 29th April 2021.Virtual Conference (MS Teams).

Fenton-O’Creevy, M., Miller, N., Selby-Fell, H. & Bowles, B. (2021). Policing Uncertainty: The Resilience of Two UK Police Forces in the Context of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Centre for Police Research & Learning (CPRL), Annual Conference: Resilience in Policing and Publics. Monday 26th April - Thursday 29th April 2021.Virtual Conference (MS Teams).

Selby-Fell, H. and Allen, D. (2021) Dog Theft: What can we infer from the evidence so far? 24th February 2021. Available at: http://www.pettheftreform.com/research

Selby-Fell, H (2020). Research Methods for Evidence Based Policing (EBP). In: Pepper, I. & McGrath, R. (2020) Introduction to Professional Policing: Examining the Evidence Base. Abington: Routledge.

Selby-Fell, H (2018). The Conceptualisation of Evidence Based Policing (EBP) and the Challenges & Opportunities for Implementation. Report prepared for the College of Policing (to accompany presentation to Research, Evidence & Partnerships Team, Priestly House, London, UK).

Selby-Fell, H (2018). The Conceptualisation of Evidence Based Policing (EBP) and the Challenges & Opportunities for Implementation. Priestly House, London, UK.

Selby-Fell, H (2018). Embedding Evidence Based Policing (EBP) in the police service. College of Policing, Ryton. UK.

Selby-Fell, H (2017). Evidence Based Policing (EBP) Implementation Action Plan. Police Force Practitioner Report.

Selby-Fell, H (2017). Embedding Evidence Based Policing (EBP): A Case Study exploring Challenges & Opportunities. PhD Thesis. University of Huddersfield.

Selby-Fell, H (2017). Changing Attitudes to Research Evidence. In: Society for Evidence Based Policing, Winter Conference, 3rd March, 2017. Northampton, UK.

Selby-Fell, H (2017). EBP: A View from the Front Line. Police Professional. 7th May, 2017, Issue 554.

Selby-Fell, H (2016).  Arrested Developments: Reflections on the implementation of evidence-based policing in England and Wales. What Works Global Summit, 26-28 September, Bloomsbury, London, UK.

Selby, H. (2015) Merseyside Crime Victims Research Programme. Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside (OPCCM) https://www.merseysidepcc.info/home/down-to-business/victim-research-programme-201415.aspx

Lloyd, M.& Selby, H. (2015). Rapid Evidence Review: Interventions to facilitate coping and recovery for victims of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside (OPCCM). https://www.merseysidepcc.info/userfiles/3.%20Rapid%20Evidence%20Overview%20-%20CSE.pdf

Lloyd, M.& Selby, H. (2015). Rapid Evidence Review of Life Course Impacts of Domestic Violence on Children and Young People. Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside (OPCCM). https://www.merseysidepcc.info/userfiles/2.%20Rapid%20Evidence%20Overview%20-%20DV%20Impacts%20Children%20&%20Young%20People.pdf

Lloyd, M.& Selby, H. (2015). Full Evidence Overview Report 2: Sexual Assault and Child Sexual Exploitation. Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside (OPCCM).https://www.merseysidepcc.info/userfiles/Full%20Evidence%20Overview%202%20-%20CSE.pdf

Lloyd, M.& Selby, H. (2015). Rapid Evidence Review: Interventions to facilitate coping and recovery for victims of Guns and Gangs. Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside (OPCCM). https://www.merseysidepcc.info/userfiles/6.%20Rapid%20Evidence%20Overview%20-%20Guns%20and%20Gangs.pdf

Lloyd, M.& Selby, H. (2015). Rapid Evidence Review: Interventions to facilitate coping and recovery for victims of Hate crime. Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside (OPCCM). https://www.merseysidepcc.info/userfiles/4.%20Rapid%20Evidence%20Overview%20-%20Hate%20Crime.pdf

Guilfoyle, S. & Selby, H. (2014). Statistics Workshop. Better Policing Collaborative. Birmingham Police Force Headquarters. UK.

Selby, Fell, H. (2014). Theory into Practice: Evidence Based Problem Solving. International Police Leadership Programme, College of Policing, Sunningdale, Berkshire. UK.

Botterill, D., Selby, M. & Selby, H. (2010). Tourism, Image & Fear of Crime. In: Botterill, D & Jones, T. (2010) Tourism & Crime: Key Themes. Goodfellow Press.

Selby, H. & Canter, D.V. (2009). Control Strategies Employed by Street Prostitutes. In: Canter, D. & Ioannou, M. & Youngs, D. (2009). Sex and Violence: The Experience and Management of Street Prostitution. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Selby, H. & Laycock, G. (2009). Bringing Crime Science to Merseyside: The Merseyside Approach. Principles of Crime Science in Policing. Conference. 16th November 2009. Partnership for Learning, Liverpool, UK.

Selby H (2008). Perception of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB). In: National Community Safety and Neighbourhood Policing Conference, 20th April 2008, Birmingham, UK.

Selby, H (2006). Anti-social Behaviour (ASB): Measurement, Analysis and Intervention. In: Annual Police Performance Conference, 30th January 2006, Canary Wharf, London, UK.

Reece, R. & Selby, H. (2007). An Investigation into Burglary on Merseyside. National Crime Mapping Conference. University College London, Jill Dando Institute of Security & Crime Science. London, UK.

Selby, H. (2004). Social & Psychological Consequences of Violent Victimization: A Review. Crime Prevention and Community Safety: An International Journal. Perpetuity Press. Volume 6, Number 1.

Selby, H & Hirschfield, A. (2003) Fear of Crime in the Elderly. Liverpool University: Environmental Criminology Research Unit (ECRU). (Unpublished)

Selby, H (2003). Measuring Fear of Crime: Home Office study. In: 3rd Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, 27th-30th August 2003, Helsinki, Finland.

Selby, H (2002). Profiling Stranger Sexual Offenders. Lancashire Constabulary. University of Liverpool: Centre for Investigative Psychology. (Unpublished)

SELECTED GUEST LECTURES

Selby-Fell, H (2019). Embedding Evidence Based Policing (EBP): Lessons from a UK Case Study. Faculty of Criminal Justice & Security, University of Maribor, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Selby-Fell, H (2018). Embedding Evidence Based Policing (EBP): A Case Study exploring Challenges & Opportunities. College of Policing, Ryton. UK.

2014- current (regular session on each module). ‘Theory into Practice: Evidence Based Problem Solving.’ International Police Leadership Programme, College of Policing, Sunningdale, Berkshire. UK.

2011- 2014. ‘The Role of Crime Analysts’.  International Centre for Investigative Psychology, Human & Health Sciences. University of Huddersfield. UK.

2010. ‘Environmental Criminology & Crime Mapping in UK Policing’. School of Humanities & Social Science. Liverpool John Moores University.UK.

2009. ‘Problem Solving Crime Analysis in UK policing’. An Garda Siochana. Dublin, Ireland.

2005-2010 (various Guest Lectures) Centre for Investigative Psychology, School of Psychology. University of Liverpool. UK.

Publications

Experiences of dog theft and spatial practices of search/ing (2022)
Allen, Daniel; Arathoon, Jamie and Selby-Fell, Helen
The Geographical Journal ((Early access))


Embedding Evidence-Based Policing (EBP): A UK case study exploring organisational challenges (2022)
Selby-Fell, Helen and Newton, Andrew
The Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles ((Early access))