DMU’s Abdul Miah shares some experiences of linking the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to teaching of policing at DMU through the following Q&A…

1: Introduce your module – what does it cover, how many students take it and what does it aim to achieve?

I teach the module “Profession of Policing & Investigations” (CRIM 1015) on the programme “Professional Policing Practice”. The module has 32 students this year and provides a general introduction to professional policing practice.

2: What do you see as the opportunities to learn about and contribute to sustainability issues and/or the SDGs in relation to the course?

Peace, security and justice goals and targets are seen as both ‘outcomes’ and ‘enablers’ of sustainable development.

The inclusion of justice and security issues in the new global development agenda will influence the practice of security sector reform. How effectively the indicators for these justice and security goals are articulated and owned, and how successfully the relevant stakeholders interact with this new global development agenda, will be important to future planning and the outcome of not only the SDGs but to security sector reform more generally.

3: What have you done to enable students to make these links and contributions? What is the value of this for students?

I think policing has a crucial role to play in sustainability issues not only in enforcement of legislation designed to protect the environment and threatened wildlife species, but also the carbon footprint of how policing is managed and delivered.

In particular, police are the frontline and guardians of the entry point into the Criminal Justice System and so have a very important role to play in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, most obviously for #SDG16.

To give an example, #SDG16, Target 16.b states:

  • TARGET 16.B: Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development. Target 16.b will be measured in terms of the percentage of the population who report having felt discriminated against or harassed within the last 12 months on the basis of a ground of discrimination prohibited under international law.

Beyond #SDG16 however  police will play an important role in  targets for other SDGs, such as #SDG 3, #SDG5, #SDG8 and #SDG11.

During the “SDG Teach-in” event at DMU, I presented on links to the SDGs and policing, leading to feedback from students including that they had not heard of them before and hadn’t realised how important they were to policing and society.

4: What else might you do in the future to enhance your course in relation to sustainability?

I am thinking to run a workshop exploring the question; “What does sustainable policing look like post-Covid and Black Lives Matter?”