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Dr Zoe Walkington

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Senior Lecturer in Psychology, and Deputy Director for Learning in the Centre for Policing Research and Learning
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Psychology & Counselling
  • Psychology
  • z.walkington

Professional biography


I have worked as a full time psychology lecturer since 2003, and I started working with the Open University as an Associate Lecturer in 2004. In 2013 I obtained my PhD in Forensic Psychology at the University of Liverpool, and I obtained a position working full time for the Open University as a Staff Tutor in late 2014. My role involved working with psychology and counselling Associate Lecturers in the North West, as well as contributing to the Department of Psychology on a variety of modules. In January 2016 I was seconded to the central psychology department where I worked on the production of postgraduate psychology modules in the area of criminal and investigative psychology. In January 2018 I will start a role as deputy director of learning in the Centre for Policing Research and Learning

Research interests

I have recently worked on two research grants for the Police Knowledge Fund (2015 - 2017). One involved developing top up training for counter terrorism interviewers, and one involved the analysis of police owned facebook sites in order to understand how the police identity is shaped on such sites.

I am interested in investigative interviewing and there are four main strands to my research interests, which comprise both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. 1. I am interested in how suspects and police officers can achieve complicity and resistance in interview settings through the use of narrative strategies when talking (or refusing to talk!) about criminal incidents. 2. I am interested in the effectiveness of narratives in improving interviewers empathic responses towards offenders. 3. I am interested in witness interpretations of criminal incidents. Specifically how potential witnesses may be influenced by “interviewee bias” from a variety of potential sources, and the extent to which such bias might be mitigated by anticipatory thinking strategies. 4. I am interested in the evaluation of simulation based training in police officers.


Teaching interests

My teaching interests are in the area of forensic and investigative psychology.

Impact and engagement

In 2017 I was academic advisor on the BBC2 (Minnow) production "The Detectives: Murder on the streets". This was a four part documentary following Detectives in the GMP murder investigation team.

I am regularly involved in consultancy work with police officers. A selection of this work is outlined below. In this work I regularly collaborate with Professor Laurence Alison of Liverpool University.

Since 2008 I have been involved with the design and regular delivery of a three day simulation based training package for Tier Three "Advanced Suspect Interviewers"

2015 Provision of interview training to CEOP officers

2014  Provision of interview feedback to delegates on the national counter terrorism interviewing course.

2011  The design and delivery of a specific training input for police officers on "Proactive Policing" in the run up to the 2012 Olympic Games.

2007 and 2008  The evaluation of training courses provided by two UK Police Forces

2006 - 2009 The provision of specific interview advise to two UK Forces dealing with recalcitrant suspects.



External collaborations

I regularly collaborate in knowledge transfer activities (in the area of investigative interviewing)  with colleagues from Liverpool University (Professor Laurence Alison)


Entitlement to Tell on Police Facebook Sites (2019-05-01)
Walkington, Zoe; Pike, Graham; Strathie, Ailsa; Havard, Catriona; Harrison, Virginia and Ness, Hayley
Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 22(5) (pp. 355-357)
Are you talking to me? How identity is constructed on police-owned Facebook sites (2018-10)
Walkington, Zoe; Pike, Graham; Strathie, Ailsa; Havard, Catriona; Ness, Hayley and Harrison, Virginia
Narrative Inquiry, 28(2) (pp. 280-300)
Working therapeutically in forensic settings (2017-06-02)
Vossler, Andreas; Havard, Catriona; Barker, Meg-John; Pike, Graham; Raabe, Bianca and Walkington, Zoe
In: Vossler, Andreas; Havard, Catriona; Pike, Graham; Barker, Meg-John and Raabe, Bianca eds. Mad or Bad? A Critical Approach to Counselling and Forensic Psychology (pp. 9-22)
ISBN : 978-1-4739-6351-1 | Publisher : Sage
The use of Facebook in creating police identity (2018-03-01)
Walkington, Zoe; Pike, Graham; Strathie, Ailsa; Havard, Catriona; Ness, Hayley and Harrison, Virginia
In : 2018 Conference of the Society of Evidence Based Policing (1-2 Mar 2018)

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