This week we have awarded grants of over half a million pounds to build new links between police and academia.
In a first for policing in England and Wales, the programme of grants will see officers and staff from 31 police forces work alongside academics in building the research evidence to tackle crime and help the police service to become more efficient.
Bids led by nine universities, six police forces, a Police and Crime Commissioner and a crime prevention charity have been given grants totalling £600,000 to create local networks, run events and carry out research and training. The new partnerships will also enhance the skills of policing personnel so that they can take an increasingly active role in research on crime and public safety.
Partnerships between academic institutions and police organisations submitted 74 bids to the College for sums of up to £50,000. Among the successful bids are submissions to develop links to research good practice in dealing with domestic abuse and rural and business crime.
The work carried out by the local partnerships will feed into the What Works Centre for Crime Reduction, providing robust and comprehensive evidence for police to tackle crime.
College of Policing head of research, Rachel Tuffin, said:
"As the home of the What Works Centre for Crime Reduction, we want to build links between police and academia so the way we go about policing is as efficient and effective as possible. This funding will be a springboard for future research and learning, so police officers and staff get the best evidence to help them cut crime and keep the public safe."
Director of the What Works consortium and Professor of Crime Science at University College London (UCL), Gloria Laycock, said:
"This is a hugely important initiative which could change the ways in which policing is delivered across England and Wales.
"UCL is leading the Economic and Social Research Council and College of Policing Consortium of eight universities in supporting the What Works Centre. This funding will strengthen academic and police relations across the country ensuring that the body of evidence on 'What Works' is further developed, disseminated and understood.
"It has the potential to place both UK policing and UK universities at the forefront of evidence-based policing globally.''