Craig Bennell.


Craig Bennell is Director of the Police Research Lab at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Craig received his BSc in Psychology from the University of Alberta (Canada) and his MSc and PhD in Psychology from the University of Liverpool (UK), where he studied under the supervision of Professor David Canter. Craig is currently Professor of Psychology at Carleton University and is cross-appointed to the School of Linguistics and Language Studies. He has previously been President of the Society for Police and Criminal Psychology and he is a founding member of C-LINK, the Crime Linkage International NetworK, which represents academics and practitioners working in the area of crime linkage analysis. Craig studies three primary issues in his lab: (1) evidence based policing, (2) police de-escalation and use of force, and (3) the reliability, validity, and usefulness of psychologically-based investigative techniques. The construction of the Police Research Lab was made possible through funds from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, the Ontario Research Fund, and Carleton University. Craig's research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Current projects.

Mental health response evaluations

Calls for service data


Evaluation of South Simcoe's COAST response program. SSHRC funded.

Evaluation of  a COAST response program. SSHRC funded.

Evaluation of mental health calls across Canada. This project involves prevalence estimates, file reviews to capture call features, interviews with crime/data analysts across the country, etc.

Evaluation of de-escalation training with a municipal police service. This project includes  a content review of their training and tracking de-escalation use by 48 new recruits across the first year of their career (through surveys, interviews, coach officer assessments, and observations during ride alongs.


Coding of de-escalation and use of force - developing decision making and performance coding frameworks, including data related to inter-rater reliability, for use when conducting ride along studies, coding BWC footage, and assessint training; this includes a component where we're exploring the relationship between de-escalation and officer safety. SSHRC funded.




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