Dr Nicholas Evans is a Lecturer in Policing & Emergency Management, Researcher with the Tasmanian Institute of Law Enforcement Studies (TILES), and a Research and Innovation Associate at the Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency (ANZPAA).
An early-career researcher in the academic policing space, Nick has a keen interest in police ethics, the ethics of armed force, policing methodologies, and trust and legitimacy in public institutions. Nick has strong ties to Australasian police jurisdictions, as well as policing-adjacent organisations. His overall research goals are to promote innovation and enhance policing practice.
Nick joined the University of Tasmania in 2020. Following the completion of his PhD in 2018 at the University of Melbourne, he worked as a researcher for the Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency (ANZPAA). While at ANZPAA, Nick worked on research projects ranging from police trust, social cohesion, to police militarisation. He also coordinates and facilitates several cross-jurisdictional policing groups with a focus on research and evidence-based policing which has helped him build strong connections throughout Australasian policing. While at the University of Melbourne, Nick also held various teaching and research roles which focused mostly on applied and practical ethics.
Prior to undertaking his PhD Nick undertook both undergraduate and graduate study at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. While studying at the University of Canterbury, Nick also undertook research work on armed conflict, and engagement with local government
Date of award
University of Melbourne
University of Canterbury
University of Canterbury
Languages (other than English)
- Australian New Zealand Society for Evidence Based Policing
- Association for Social and Political Philosophy
Project Management, Research Network Co-ordination, and convening
Police ethics, police trust and legitimacy, use of force, police methods, police leadership, evidence based policing, police forecasting
Nick has experience teaching undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of different backgrounds including both tertiary and policing audiences.
In terms of subject matter, he has experience delivering material focussed on applied ethics, political theory, strategic initiatives and problem solving in policing, and police leadership.
Nick currently has teaching and co-ordination responsibility for:
- Ethics of Policing
- Use of force (both military and police)
- Policing methodologies (particularly evidence-based policing and the use of future forecasting in police work)
- Trust and Legitimacy in Public Institutions (particularly public trust in police)
Skills used in research include both quantitative and qualitative research methods, as well as future forecasting in the context of public and government agencies
Nick’s research aligns to the to the University’s research theme of Culture and Society. His research interests revolve around perceptions of trust both internal and external to police. This includes factors influencing public levels of trust and legitimacy in policing, and how police may respond to these particularly through developing shared conceptions of trust and improving data collection. The latter also aligns to the UTAS research theme of Data, Knowledge and Decisions. Relatedly, Nick is also interested in police perceptions of the public and of each other through the lens of trust. How these perceptions affect police actions and operations is an area that Nick is also exploring.
Also aligned to the UTAS research theme of Culture and Society is Nick’s research into the ethics of certain policing methodologies. This includes the ethics of police responses to conspiracism in the community, particularly during COVID-19. A related area of research into the ethics of police decision making that Nick is pursuing is the use of crime forecasting by police, specifically the use of forecasting markets. As with his work on improving trust data, research into police forecasting markets also links to the university’s theme of Data, Knowledge and Decisions.
Nick is currently involved in several projects working with Australasian police jurisdictions through the Australian New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency (ANZPAA).
Fields of Research
- Police administration, procedures and practice (440211)
- Disaster and emergency management (350703)
- Law enforcement (230404)
- Crime prevention (230402)
- Public services policy advice and analysis (230204)
- Natural hazards (190499)
Over the past few years, the majority of Nick’s publication work has been through government and/or policing platforms. Due to the restricted nature of some of this work, reports on certain projects aren’t available for public release. In short though, research undertaken in this context includes the development of a shared concept of trust for Australian and New Zealand Policing, an examination into factors causing a loss of trust in policing and factors driving police politicisation. Nick has also undertaken forecasting research into police perceptions of emerging technologies, and mixed-methods research into police perceptions of different drug policy regimes.
Nick has also recently written “The Four Dimensions: Building trust during pandemics and political dialogues” for Policing Insights and is working on research aligning trust measures in police across Australasia.
Journal Article(4 outputs)
|2022||Evans N, 'Artificial intelligence and policing: it's a matter of trust', Australian Strategic Policy Institute pp. 1-3. ISSN 2200-6648 (2022) [Professional, Non Refereed Article]|
|2022||Evans N, 'Policing the pandemic in Australia and New Zealand: lessons for trust and legitimacy', Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice ISSN 2056-3841 (2022) [Refereed Article]|
|2021||Evans N, 'What can police do about conspiracy theories?', Policing Insight, 29 September 2021 (2021) [Professional, Non Refereed Article]|
|2020||Evans N, 'The four dimensions: building trust during pandemics and political dialogues', Policing Insight pp. 1-6. ISSN 2634-7822 (2020) [Professional, Non Refereed Article]|
Other Public Output(3 outputs)
|2022||Evans N, 'Queensland police killings show the threat posed by conspiracy theories - how should police respond?', Online Article, The Conversation, Australia, 16 December 2022, pp. 1-6. (2022) [Magazine Article]|
|2022||Evans N, ''Police officers' killings at Wieambilla, West of Brisbane - Conspiracy Theories', Interview with ABC Radio -Brisbane Drive', ABC Radio - Afternoon Program, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Brisbane, 19 December 2022 (2022) [Media Interview]|
|2021||Evans N, 'Trust in police: compendium', The Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-22. (2021) [Government or Industry Research]|
Nick has served as an academic advisor and supervisor to graduates in the areas of police oversight and governance, ‘ethical fading’ in police work, and police training.
He welcomes HDR students seeking supervision, particularly those with interests that align with his research expertise and interests or those broadly adjacent to these interests.
|PhD||Psychological injury in Australian police officers: a qualitative study of prevalence and treatment methodologies||2021|