The future of local policing will have evidence base

​A programme is under way to establish a clear evidence base of "what works" in the field of local policing.

The work will help forces which are trying to tackle crime locally while dealing with a diminishing number of officers.

With forces having to make difficult decisions around resources, the work we are carrying out will help them to design their local policing teams around our body of evidence.

The College has sought information on local policing teams in 38 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales to discover any innovative projects which could be of benefit to the wider service. The remaining five forces will be contacted later in the year, and we will be gathering and analysing evidence of best practice for neighbourhood policing from other police forces across the world.

As well as keeping the public safe, local policing is vital in ensuring that victims and witnesses of crime have confidence in the service and are satisfied with the handling of their case.

The three-year programme will produce its first report in January 2015. It will collate evidence of what works in local policing, and provide an evidence base examining how engaging with the community can reduce risks, threats and harm in areas. This work will focus on how officers and police staff can use social media to engage with communities.

The wider-three year programme will examine:

  • options for resourcing local policing
  • the emerging practice around predictive policing to support officers in preventing crime
  • the emerging effective practice around the use of technology within local policing.

College of Policing Local Policing Programme Lead, Chief Superintendent Mark Chatterton, says: "The long-term aim of the programme is to reduce crime and ensure residents get a high-quality service, whether they ring 999 or need support in their neighbourhood.

"Among the areas we will be looking at is the increasing focus on 'micro beats', where local policing teams focus on smaller areas where there is a lot of crime, instead of the traditional approaches seen up to now.

"The police service will inevitably need to continue to do more with less resource tackling local crime issues, as well as acting against the more sophisticated criminal networks that start from the neighbourhood upwards."

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