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Adoption and use of evidence-based policing by volunteers in policing

Improving national and international understanding of how evidence-based policing is used by uniformed volunteers.

Key details

Lead institution
Principal researcher(s)
Professor Ian Pepper
Police region
Collaboration and partnership
  • University of South Wales, UK
  • University of Sunderland, UK
  • University of Central Florida, USA
  • Ontario Technical University, Canada
Level of research
Professional/work based
Project start date
Date due for completion

Research context

Evidence-based practice (EBP) has developed across the police service, in particular via the educational programmes for new recruits.

The aim of this research is to enhance the national and international understanding of the adoption and use of EBP by uniformed volunteers. This will in itself enhance the existing evidence base.

This will result in a number of national and joint international publications impacting upon local and international policy and professional policing practice. 

Research methodology

The researchers will conduct an extensive national and international review of the existing literature, which currently focuses on the use of EBP by regular police officers. The research methodology will then collect data in two stages.

Stage one

An online questionnaire will establish knowledge and use of EBP by uniformed police volunteers across several police forces in four nations – England, Wales, USA and Canada.

The researchers acknowledge this provides a snapshot in both time and location. It will predominantly provide quantitative data in relation to the local knowledge and use of EBP within the force by the volunteers and also provide a platform for international comparisons.

Stage two

A focus group will be hosted virtually in each of the forces. This will enable exploration of some of the initial findings by providing qualitative data. 

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