A ground-breaking new book for UK policing professionals, written by an Edge Hill academic, was launched last week.
The Police Writing Handbook is aimed at helping policing professionals deal effectively with the mountain of paperwork, statements, and reports that take up an ever-increasing part of their daily work.
The author, Ann Ellis, an Associate Tutor in English Language at Edge Hill University, also has 20 years’ experience of teaching English in the workplace and has worked extensively with the police service and other investigating professionals.
Ann said: “Police officers and staff who attended my courses asked me to recommend a book that they could use for practice and reference. After a search of the Internet, I found that none existed for UK policing. I decided I would write it myself, and The Police Writing Handbook is the result.”
Unique amongst professional writing books, this publication is written especially for the UK Police Service. Input from serving and retired police officers and other staff has resulted in a book that reflects the writing challenges of the sector, with real-life examples, case studies and exercises.
The book employs an innovative approach to enhancing the specialised writing within policing. It combines analytical skills associated with Forensic Linguistics, which Ann teaches at Edge Hill, with traditional writing skills such as grammar, punctuation and spelling. She says of this approach, “Gaining an understanding of the way English language works gives greater control over writing, making the process simpler but more effective.”
Using real-world examples, the handbook offers strategies for effective report-writing, along with tips and frameworks to reduce the time spent writing and re-writing. This will ensure that all written documents are court-ready – clear, complete and unambiguous.
Retired Superintendent Christine Wallace, formerly of South Yorkshire Police described the book as:
“An excellent tool, not only for police officers and detectives, but also for Police Specials, PCSOs and the wide range of civilian staff who also prepare reports and case files which are read by a wide audience.”