Inga Heyman

Dr Inga Heyman

Associate Professor (Policing and Public Health)
Edinburgh Napier University

Tell us about yourself

I am a registered Adult and Mental Health Nurse and teacher. My research, teaching and professional practice focus lies at the intersect of policing and public health and is underpinned by my clinical practice across a broad range of health, police and public protection services.

As Co-Director of the Scottish Collaboration for Policing and Public Health (SCLEPH), I work with a range of external partners in an advisory capacity to support policy, practice and research development. These include:

  • His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) mental health advisory panel
  • Police Scotland
  • The Scottish Government’s Criminal Justice Committee
  • The Scottish Government’s Short life working group – Unscheduled Care Management of Individuals presenting with Mental Health Issues
  • Scottish Government Justice Analytical Services
  • Police Scotland’s Mental Health Governance Group
  • The House of Lords

I am a qualitative researcher who focuses on advancing knowledge in police and emergency health responses to people in mental health distress through investigating police and health systems, how agencies and people within those agencies interact and care pathways.

Why did you want to become a Research Affiliate?

Working closely with SCLEPH Co-Director Dr Nadine Dougall, Professor of Mental Health & Data Science, we are keen to connect, collaborate and share ideas, opportunities, research, practice, and learn with and from each other across the four nations and beyond.

Through working at the intersect of policing and public health since 2005 I have developed practice and research networks nationally and internationally. In part this is through the board membership of the Global Law Enforcement and Public Health Association (GLEPHA), the Law Enforcement and Public Health (LEPH) international conference series (we were hosts in Edinburgh in 2019) and as committee members of the 4 Nations LEPH webinar series. Being affiliated with the Vulnerability & Policing Futures Research Centre has the potential to develop, extend and consolidate reciprocal national and international networks. Such affiliation brings opportunities to facilitate collaborative research opportunities and knowledge exchange.

How does your research connect to the Centre’s mission and values?

We share common goals, values and overlapping areas of focus in the reduction of harm to individuals and families, and in supporting community resilience. Our work, and that of Edinburgh Napier University, is focused on making a positive impact to citizens and communities. As researchers and educators we seek to ask challenging questions in order to encourage debate, potentially disrupt poor practice, inform policy and legislative reform, and contribute to innovative ways of cross-sector working.

We co-produce with citizens in our research and knowledge exchange to inform practice and policy in public health and policing in Scotland. Recent publications have covered Police Scotland carriage of naloxone, vulnerability, and evaluation of a vanguard tri-service collaboration to support community wellbeing.