The objective of the new MetREC is to ensure that all research undertaken, funded or sponsored by the Metropolitan Police Service (the Met), meets high ethical standards.

MetREC provides independent advice to the Met on ethical considerations of research, and is the first Policing specific research ethics committee in the UK.

See the MetREC full terms of reference.

MetREC should ensure that policies, considerations, standards and safeguards are applied appropriately and for the purpose of safeguarding the rights, dignity, welfare and safety of people participating in research. It should ensure that any risks involved in conducting and participating in research are appropriate and proportionate to the potential benefit of the research.

The role of MetREC is to assure operational delivery conducted as scientific research.  If operational changes are made without consideration for scientific evaluation, this falls outside the scope of MetREC and any ethical implications must be addressed elsewhere.  Examples of research that should be submitted to MetREC include:

  • where a policing operation or intervention is introduced or removed selectively or via randomisation in order to evaluate that operation/intervention;
  • where police officers, victims, suspects or offenders are interviewed or consulted (e.g., by questionnaires, focus groups, etc.) for the purpose of research;
  • where research is undertaken by the MPS to assess or understand old or new technologies, strategies, practices, behaviours, or approaches to policing;
  • where the allocation of resources is altered, based on data, in order to evaluate that allocation;
  • where research is undertaken which may impact on the trust of communities in the MPS.

If you are sponsoring, undertaking or otherwise participating in research, you should contact us for advice on how to secure ethical approval for that research.  The Faculty of Research act as the main point of contact for all research in the MPS, and further advice can be gained from either Chief Inspector Ben Linton or Paul W Clarke.

MetREC is chaired by Dr Daniel Sokol, a barrister and ethicist known for his academic and journalistic writings on the ethics of medicine.  He formally sat on the Ministry of Defence Research Ethics Committee and the MPS is delighted that he will be chairing this committee.

Committee members

Name Title Institution
Dr Daniel Sokol (Chair) Barrister/Ethicist 12 King’s Bench Walk
Professor Emma McCoy Professor of Statistics Imperial College London
Dr Katrin Müeller-Johnson Associate Professor of Criminology University of Oxford
Dr Paolo Campana University Lecturer in Criminology and Complex Networks University of Cambridge
Dr Paul McFarlane Senior Teaching Fellow in Security & Crime Science University College London
Dr Katerina Hadjimatheou Lecturer in Sociology University of Essex
Professor James Wilson Professor of Philosophy University College London
Professor Raanan Gillon Emeritus Professor of Medical Ethics (retired GP) Imperial College London
Professor Jessica Woodhams Professor of Forensic Psychology University of Birmingham