Guideline 5: Building analytical capability

Chief officers should ensure there is sufficient analytical capacity and capability necessary for problem solving.

Essential elements include:
  • Officers, staff and volunteers thinking analytically when dealing with problems

  • Officers, staff and volunteers accessing appropriate data and tools to carry out their own analysis

  • Facilitating access to skilled analysts

  • Sharing of data, analysis and analytical resources between police and partners

  • Sharing of good practice within forces, across the service and with partners.

Effectively building analytical capacity and capability should:
  • ensure problem-solving activities are based on a good understanding of problems
  • enable the impact and outcomes of responses to be assessed
  • lead to greater efficiencies through sharing resources.


Advice and support: putting guidelines into practice

Depending on your role and interest, select the relevant link(s) to find out about advice and support for building analytical capability.

Supporting material for frontline officers, staff and volunteers

Supporting material for supervisors

Supporting material for senior leaders

Impact evidence for building analytical capability

The guideline and advice and support for building analytical capability are underpinned by the following impact evidence:

  • The quality of problem solving in neighbourhood policing has been related to improved outcomes.
  • Problem solving was a key feature of the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy and requirements for its successful implementation included strong analytical commitment and organisation-wide commitment.
  • ‘Shallow’ problem solving that lacks the systematic application of the SARA model and wider organisational change may explain why, overall, community policing has not been found to reduce crime across a range of contexts.
  • The evaluation of the National Reassurance Policing Programme shows that pilot sites were more effective when the response to problems was tailored as a result of a very detailed problem definition, based on multiple sources of information.

Key: Type of evidence
​■■■Evidence from systematic reviews – exhaustive reviews of quantitative studies – selected for their relevance and methods – that make overall assessments of 'what worked' in a range of contexts.
​■■Evidence from rapid evidence assessments – time-limited reviews of studies – selected for their relevance and methods – that provide general overviews of the literature on impact and implementation issues.
​■Evidence from impact evaluations – quantitative studies that make assessments of 'what worked' in particular contexts.
​●Evidence from other research – studies that provide insights on implementation or other issues in particular contexts.


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