Rachael Aplin


  • University Of Huddersfield Queensgate Huddersfield HD13DH

Accepting PhD Students

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Personal profile


Rachael holds the position of senior lecturer within the Applied Criminology and Policing Centre at the University of Huddersfield. As part of “Police Now” she teaches police officer students on the Diploma for Professional Policing Practice (Community and Detective Officers) in addition to undergraduate and post graduate students reading Criminology. Her research centres on the Policing of Honour-Based Abuse crime in the UK, which comes under the auspices of domestic abuse. She has worked in a lecturing capacity since joining Leeds Beckett University in 2013. She obtained her FHEA accreditation in 2015 and her doctorate in 2018.

Rachael joined the Greater Manchester Police as a warranted officer in 1994 and left to pursue her doctorate in 2013. She has a wealth of operational and strategic policing experience in investigating and managing serious and complex crime. She became a CID detective in 1998 investigating rapes, robberies, violent disorders, manslaughter cases, several domestic murders and honour killings in Oldham and Rochdale, including a shaken baby death case (1998-2004). She then worked in the investigation of child abuse (2004) and became an accredited Centrex crime trainer (2004-2007), writing and delivering advanced suspect and witness cognitive interview skills (tier 2, 3, 4, 5), CID training and NCRS crime evaluation. During this period Rachael also designed and implemented plans for the Steve Oake interview suite at the force training school and wrote GMP’s force guidance on the application of ‘special warnings’ (CJPOA 1994) (2005).

Rachael transferred to the Major Incident Team specifically investigating domestic murders and gang shootings (2006-2007). On promotion to Sergeant she worked as Force Intelligence lead for volume crime, responsible for detectives collating intelligence and analysts writing nine strategic threat assessment yearly (car crime, burglary, distraction burglary, criminal damage etc.). She was the lead for improving the policing response to distraction burglary and Rogue trader crime series (2008-2010). She wrote the GMP force guidance on Doorstep Crime (Distraction Burglary and Rogue Trader Crime), developed a related Force intranet site and devised the GMP service level agreement with AGMA Trading Standards. She liaised with Forensic Science services to provide the top perpetrators list in order to improve detection rates.  Consequently, doorstep crime detections increased from 11 to 20% in GMP over a 12-month period (Sept 2009). She completed her Master’s qualification at Huddersfield (Organisational culture: The impact on police practice in the context of Rogue Trader crime in England and Wales) obtaining a distinction and a prize for the best part time MBA (2012).

In light of priority based budget cuts impacting police forces, she was part of a team effecting business process reengineering to GMP; specifically managing organisational change to prisoner processing units, intelligence hubs and child video interview suites (2009-2012). She has been involved in curriculum design and delivery both in industry and academic environments across her career, organising and delivering joint agency training to improve operational practices across the public sector (Police; CPS; Trading Standards; Social Services). Across 2012 she was a Domestic Abuse Sergeant in the Public Protection Division. This was the impetus for her thesis in improving the policing response to Honour-Based Abuse.

Rachael is one of the founding ambassadors of the HARM (Honour-Abuse Research Matrix) group based in the University of Central Lancashire where practitioners and academics meet and share good practice. She spoke at its launch alongside ex head of CPS Nazir Afzal (2018). She is closely affiliated to charity Karma Nirvana (formerly Derby, now in Leeds) which supports victims of Honour-Based Abuse.


Research Expertise and Interests

  • Police discretionary practices and organisational culture(s)
  • Honour Based Abuse and Forced Marriage
  • Domestic Abuse
  • Child Protection
  • Partnership working arrangements (Police/Social Services)
  • Vulnerable Adult abuse
  • Rogue Trader /Distraction Burglary
  • Child Sexual Exploitation


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