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Strengthening innovation and implementing what works

Our ambition for everyone in policing to build and use evidence of what works.

First published
Corporate strategy 2022 to 2026

Where we are now

Understanding what works and applying evidence-based approaches to tackling crime is key to effective policing. Using the best available evidence to inform practice and support decision making can help prevent crime, build confidence and provide a better service to the public.

As the What Works Centre for Crime Reduction, we strive to support good practice and decision-making by generating, translating and sharing evidence-based practice, as well as emerging practice and innovation.

Great strides have been made in developing and sharing evidence. However, policing still lacks a systematic approach to identifying, packaging and sharing the full range of relevant and useful knowledge that could improve practice.

Our ambition for policing

Our ambition is that everyone in policing will build and use evidence of what works.

We will support policing to use evidence of what works to inform practice and embed the use of analysis and decision making, helping to beat crime, reduce demand from recurring problems, build confidence and provide a better service to the public.

Our standards and guidance, which are underpinned by the best available evidence, will ensure greater consistency across policing.

We will encourage innovation and the sharing of best practice to support the police service to become more agile and better able to respond to challenge and opportunity, as well as improving performance and levels of public trust.

Our commitment over the next four years

We will further develop the What Works Centre, focusing on making the evidence base even more accessible and practical for all those working in policing, and we will provide direct evidence-based support for forces facing particular crime challenges to help improve their performance.

Our capabilities in horizon scanning and research will enable the policing system to effectively prepare and respond to perennial and emerging challenges.

Working with our partners, we will build on what we have already established to provide a route for local innovation and practice to be identified, shared, tested and scaled more rapidly.

The strengthening innovation and implementing what works section in our Business plan (pages 43 to 46) contains specific steps that will support progress towards this ambition, as well as how we will measure our impact.

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