School of Law

Research Student: Neda Nobari Nazari

Preventative Counterterrorism Policing: Impact of Community Engagement on Public Cooperation

Photo of Neda Nobari Nazari

Prevention has increasingly been used as a counterterrorism method in recent years, in order to stop terrorism before it occurs and remains the primary objective of counterterrorism strategies across the world. This is because prevention is focused on protection and safeguarding citizens, as it aims to intervene with the intention to remove the ability or the motivation of potential terrorists to carry out their lethal designs. One such preventative method is community engagement – a model of policing initially developed for the prevention of crime. Community engagement is about encouraging the community to be engaged in policing itself and cooperating with the authorities. This element of cooperation is vital in the prevention of terrorism as well as other crimes. As such, community engagement is thought to be this bridge to building a relationship with and trust in the police that can encourage communities taking part in their own policing by sharing intelligence with the police. Subsequently, the willingness to report a crime is considered as an element of public cooperation with the policing agencies.

However, public cooperation and the willingness to report can be influenced by various factors. The proposed research suggests four factors, which may influence public cooperation and willingness to report: of identity, relationships, context, and the cost-benefit analysis. These variables are presented in a theoretical framework and tested for in community engagement policing using a transformative design. As such it will take a comparative approach toward the policing of counter-extremism adopted within the UK and Denmark, as the policing style and counterterrorism strategies differ from one another.

This ESRC funded studentship and will involve a three-month placement with West Yorkshire police and East Jutland police.


I hold an MSc in Psychology from Middlesex University and a BA in Accounting and Finance (Middlesex University), in addition to FdSc in Forensic and Crime Investigation from Queen Mary University. I have also held a Research Assistant position in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, working on the EU-funded PRIME project. The research focuses on lone actor extremism within Europe. I assist with gathering and coding of data on communication measures to prevent, interdict and mitigate lone actor events.

What motivated me to undertake PhD study?

As I want to pursue a career in counter terrorism and radicalization, I would like to immerse myself in this area in both academic literature and practical experience in this area. This will enable me to contribute to this area, with intention of, hopefully, impacting relevant policy and practice.

What makes me passionate about my subject?

I have always been passionate about counterterrorism and have tried to get as much experience in this area as possible. I believe that greater understanding in these areas is needed in order to inform policies and practice that can assist in countering terrorism and radicalization. It is where I feel that I can make a real difference.

What are my plans once I have completed my PhD?

What I am hoping to achieve upon completion of my Ph.D. is that I can take the idea of this PhD and develop it further through within the academic environment, as well as pursue further publications and funding.

© Copyright Leeds 2018