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Personal profile


David joined the University of Portsmouth as a lecturer in the PEQF team in 2021. He was previously a police officer for 30 years, serving with Hampshire Constabulary and ACPO(TAM).

David studied Human Geography at Loughborough University before joining Hampshire Constabulary in 1989. He experienced periods as a Detective, Response Sergeant, Control Room Sergeant, Custody Sergeant, Neighbourhood Sergeant and Neighbourhood Inspector. His use of community engagement and crime prevention tactics led to awards including nominations for international problem-oriented policing awards.

David was seconded to the National Prevent Delivery Unit for 5 years, leading on the prevention of terrorism in schools, colleges and universities. He wrote national guidance and developed educational resources as well as assisting international law enforcement after terrorism incidents. His work in the aftermath of Fuselier Lee Rigby’s murder led to the Prevent Duty within the Counter Terrorism & Security Act (2015).

As Hampshire Constabulary Prevent lead, David worked on a series of terrorism incidents, utilising engagement and problem-solving tactics to prevent radicalisation.

On retirement from the police, David studied for a Masters in Criminal Psychology, focusing on the radicalisation of those drawn towards far-right terrorism. He spent a year as a Home Office Counter-Extremism Coordinator, creating resources relating to hate crime, extremism and knife crime before becoming a Lecturer in Policing.

David is responsible for PEQF modules on:

  • Criminology;
  • Communities, Intelligence & Information;
  • Community Policing and;
  • Ethics in Policing.

His research interests include counter-terrorism especially far-right radicalisation and Problem-Based Learning.


Knowles, D. J. (2007). The Bridge Project. Arizona State University Herman Goldstein Awards 2007. https://popcenter.asu.edu/sites/default/files/library/awards/goldstein/2007/07-19.pdf

Knowles, D. J. (2009; 2013). Prevent, Police & Schools. National Prevent Delivery Unit, ACPO(TAM) http://www.westhatch.essex.sch.uk/_files/users/6/E043930EE67D269733439336138FC547.pdf

Knowles, D. J. (2012). Prevent, Police & Colleges. National Prevent Delivery Unit, ACPO(TAM). https://preventforfeandtraining.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/201205TAMPreventPandCollGui.pdf

Knowles, D. J. (2012). Prevent, Police & Universities. National Prevent Delivery Unit, ACPO(TAM).

Knowles, D. J. (2012). Operation Bachelor & Operation Graduate: Interactive resources to prevent radicalisation on university campuses. National Prevent Delivery Unit, ACPO(TAM).

Kirwan, K. & Knowles, D. J. (2013). Solitaire: An interactive resource to Prevent legitimately owned firearms being used by terrorists. National Prevent Delivery Unit, ACPO(TAM).

Knowles, D. J. (2020). Identity in Britain and the Radicalisation of the Violent Right. International Network for Hate Studies. https://internationalhatestudies.com/glossary/k/page/3/

Knowles, D. J. (2023, July, 20). Tell me, teach me and involve me: Should police education be 'more policey'? Policing Insight. https://policinginsight.com/features/analysis/tell-me-teach-me-and-involve-me-should-police-education-be-more-policey/ 

Knowles, D. J. (2023, September, 12). Your Choice Matters: Police engagement in schools to reduce vulnerability to knife crime and hate crime. Policing Insight. https://policinginsight.com/feature/analysis/your-choice-matters-police-engagement-in-schools-to-reduce-vulnerability-to-knife-crime-and-hate-crime/


Assisted in the publication of:

Universities UK. (2011). Freedom of speech on campus: rights and responsibilities in UK universities.

Universities UK. (2012). Oversight of security-sensitive research material in UK universities: guidance.

The Charity Commission. (2013, September, 3). Protecting charities from harm: compliance toolkit. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/protecting-charities-from-harm-compliance-toolkit

Cabinet Office. (2013). Tackling extremism in the UK. Report from the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Tackling Radicalisation and Extremism. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tackling-extremism-in-the-uk-report-by-the-extremism-taskforce

David's Linked-In Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-knowles-4755b614/

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

PgCert, Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (Distinction)

1 Sept 202219 Jun 2023

Award Date: 21 Jul 2023

FHEA (Fellow of the Higher Education Academy), AdvanceHE

Award Date: 21 Jul 2023

Master of Science, Criminal Psychology (Distinction)

Sept 2019Aug 2020

Award Date: 9 Nov 2020

BSc (Hons), Human Geography, Loughborough University

Oct 1985Jul 1988

Award Date: 10 Jul 1988

External positions

Counter-Extremism Coordinator, Home Office

Nov 2020Oct 2021

Prevent - Force Lead, Hampshire Constabulary

Oct 2013Nov 2016

Prevent - National police lead in schools, colleges & universities, National Police Chiefs’ Council

Jan 2009Oct 2013

Police Officer, Hampshire Constabulary

Jul 1989Jul 2019