Posts Categorised: Research

Extending the remit of evidence-based policing

Clouds and pine trees/Flickr

“This article argues that the two dominant approaches to EBP, experimental criminology and crime science, offer limited scope for the development of a comprehensive knowledge base for policing. Although both approaches share a common commitment to the values of science, each recognizes their limited coverage of policing topics. The fundamental difference between them is what each considers ‘best’ evidence. This article critically examines the generation of evidence by these two approaches and proposes an extension to the range of issues EBP should cover by utilizing a greater plurality of methods to exploit relevant research.”

Source: Brown, J., Belur, J., Tompson, L., McDowall, A., Hunter, G., & May, T. (2018). International Journal of Police Science & Management, and available from this link (subscription journal).

Policing 2026 Evidence Review

Native Daphne

“The specially commissioned papers collected together to form this Evidence Review have been written by a group of international policing experts with extensive experience as academic researchers, senior practitioners and policy makers. The strategic importance of this evidence review is that it embodies an evidence-based approach to policing, which values the role of research, science, evaluation and analysis to inform decision making within police organisations.”

Source: Scottish Institute of Policing Research and available from this link (open access).

Categories: Police, Research

From research outcome to agency change: mapping a learning trajectory of opportunities and challenges

Manly dawn/Griffin

“To create the best conditions for organisational learning a literature review of learning lessons in emergency management was conducted. Practitioners were also interviewed to understand the contexts and challenges faced in implementing research insights and in facilitating change. This paper presents two studies that examine aspects of organisational learning. In the first study, the challenges to learning from action and experience and from reflection and planning are examined. In the second study, the systems for learning used in emergency services organisations are considered and a preliminary theory of research utilisation maturity is proposed. The initiatives reported help to maximise the value of research and supports innovation through utilisation.”

Source: Owen, C., Krusel, N., Bearman, C., and Brooks, B. (2017) Australian Journal of Emergency Management and available from this link (open access).

Evaluating the Effects of Police Body-Worn Cameras: A Randomized Controlled Trial


“Police officer body-worn cameras (BWCs) have been promoted as a technological mechanism that will improve policing and the perceived legitimacy of the police and legal institutions. While there is a national movement to deploy BWCs widely, evidence of their effectiveness is limited. To estimate the average effects of BWCs, we conducted a randomized controlled trial involving 2,224 Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers in Washington, DC. The primary outcomes of interest were documented uses of force and civilian complaints, although we also measure a variety of additional policing activities and judicial outcomes. We estimated very small average treatment effects on all measured outcomes, none of which rose to statistical significance.”

Source: Yokum, D., Ravishankar, A., & Coppock, A. (2017). The Lab@DC and available from this link (open access).

To what extent do Canadian police professionals believe that their agencies are ‘Targeting, Testing, and Tracking’ new policing strategies and programs?

Gum tree/PaperMonkey

“Some researchers suggest that police professionals see little value in adopting evidence based approaches to tackle policing challenges. To examine this issue, 586 Canadian police professionals were surveyed. We explore responses to one particular question, which caused 353 respondents to reflect on whether they think their agencies enact evidence based policing (EBP) principles in daily operations; specifically, the principles of targeting, testing, and tracking the implementation of new policing strategies.”

Source: Huey, L., Blaskovits, B., Bennell, C., Kalyal, H. J., & Walker, T. (2017). Police Practice and Research, and available from this link (subscription journal).

‘We Would If We Could … but Not Sure If We Can’: Implementing Evidence-Based Practice: The Evidence-Based Practice Agenda in the UK

Fishing in Manly/Flickr

“The findings of a pilot training programme focused on evidence-based practice (EBP) conducted in September 2015 suggest that police officers and staff have enthusiasm for EBP. The participating police practitioners from four UK police forces, held positive beliefs about the relevance and value of research, evaluation, and their own research abilities prior to the pilot.”

Source: Fleming, J., & Wingrove, J. (2017). Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, 11(2), and available from this link.

Categories: Learning, Police, Research

AIPM National Police Research Inventory: A Summary of Findings

Volleyball nets stand unused on

Manly Beach/Flickr

“There continues to be much debate about the value of research to policing. The evidence-based policing (EBP) movement has gained significant traction across the world, and it is increasingly commonplace to hear about police organisations engaging with the body of knowledge when thinking about changes to policy and practice. Responding to this trend in late 2015 and early 2016 the Australian Institute of Police Management (AIPM) held a series of three roundtable discussions on the topic of police research (see Herrington, 2016, for a summary). Attended by 51 individuals representing 16 organisations, these roundtables explored some of the key challenges for those interested in police research. Download the attached paper and learn more about the four key themes in these discussions.”

Source: Herrington, V. & Kowald, E. (2017). AIPM Research Focus, 5/1 and available from this link (open access).

Categories: Police, Research

Accessing the Evidence in Policing: Six Helpful Websites


“One of the key assumptions of the evidence-based policing movement is that police will be inclined to adopt a research-informed approach to policing practices if they access, read, and digest what they discover from the research evidence. Providing easy access to the research evidence is thus a fundamental starting point for widespread adoption of the evidence-based policing paradigm. To that end, herein is insight into six different open-access websites that collectively offer police comprehensive information about what is known, globally, about the effectiveness of police practices.”

Source: Mazerolle, L. & Martin, P. (2016). The Police Chief, 83, and available from this link (open access). 

Engineering a Safer Society


Lilly Pilly

“Evidence based policing continues to be an important area of discussion among police organisations across the world, and parallels are often drawn with medicine as a means to describe how a profession can be enhanced through a commitment to evidence based techniques. The use of the medical analogy in policing does not have everybody convinced, however, and there are those who argue that rather than molecules, bacteria and disease, we are dealing with the complexity of human behaviour, meaning simple cause and effect may always be difficult to establish. The authors extend this thinking and suggest that a better professional parallel might be drawn with engineering.”

Source: Tilley, N. and Laycock, G. (2016). Public Safety Leadership Research Focus and available from this link (open access).

The Most Cited Scholars in Five International Criminology Journals, 2006–10

North Head, Manly/Flickr

North Head, Manly/Flickr

“The current article examines three elements of scholarly influence comparing five major international criminology journals (BJC – British Journal of Criminology, CRIM – Criminology, ANZ – Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, CJC – Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, EJC – European Journal of Criminology) from 2006 to 2010. The most cited works of the most cited authors were on developmental and life-course criminology and criminal careers.”

Source: Cohn, E. G., & Iratzoqui, A. (2016).  British Journal of Criminology, 56(3), and available from this link (subscription journal).