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Police and University join forces to harness research potential

Posted on August 20th 2015

A new research project will unite police and researchers to increase evidence-based knowledge, skills and problem solving approaches within policing.

A team from the University of Exeter, including PenCLAHRC's Dr Iain Lang and Dr Mark Pearson, have secured nearly £250,000 from the Police Knowledge Fund to foster stronger collaboration between the police force and researchers, ensuring practices are rooted in the best evidence of what is effective. The team will help police find and use information to ensure the best outcomes for the police and public are achieved.

Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Hogg said of the project:

“This is a really exciting opportunity to build closer relationships between our office, the police, the university and the wider policing family. The application of an evidence-based approach will help the Force to more effectively meet the funding challenges we face in the future.”

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Ralph, from the Devon and Cornwall Police Public Protection Unit, also commented:

"Devon and Cornwall Police are excited to be working with a world class academic institution such as the University of Exeter. The funding from the College of Policing Knowledge Fund will provide a real opportunity to embed evidence-based policing across the region, using methodology that has been proven to be successful in the medical profession."


“Police officers and staff across the region will have the opportunity to learn and develop skills in relation to research, to further enhance policing delivery and focus on methods that are proven to work. This is even more critical at times of budget constraints and when the police and our partner agencies are striving to innovate to deal with demand from a huge variety of sources.”

The project will use evidence-based research to help Devon and Cornwall Police develop better policing practice. This will be done by bringing together police, community stakeholders and academics to identify research questions and projects that are relevant to their policing challenges.

It will also conduct a review of all available evidence on important topics to address the Government’s desire for evidence-based policy making in policing. This will provide valuable opportunities for police officers and staff to undertake research projects at the University, as well as enabling academics and students to be seconded within the police force.

The project is due to commence in September 2015.