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Police-academic collaborations

Partnerships between police forces and academic institutions – including those supported by the police knowledge fund.

Links between academia and policing influence research and inform decisions in policing.

List of collaborations

This list details existing partnerships between police forces and academic institution.

We're keen to capture all relevant collaborations and research hubs. If you know of any that are not listed, please email [email protected] so we can add them to this page.

Centre for Crime Justice and Policing

The Centre for Crime Justice and Policing builds on the University of Birmingham's world class reputation for academic excellence by bringing together a diverse group of academic researchers working within the areas of crime, justice and policing. The Centre acts as a unifying hub to support the needs of practitioners, providing training that will lead to sustainable knowledge transfer.

The Criminal Justice Research Network

Founded in 2019, the Criminal Justice Research Network (CJRN) is a formal collaboration of researchers, practitioners and academics working in the field of criminal justice. The focus is on knowledge exchange, practice change, research collaboration and student engagement.

The CJRN comprises experts from the University of Winchester’s Centre for Forensic and Investigative Psychology (CFIP), our Institute of Policing and Criminology experts, who will be working alongside colleagues from other universities and criminal justice organisations.

​East Midlands Police Academic Collaboration

The East Midlands Police Academic Collaboration (EMPAC) combines the best of academic expertise and professional policing insight in a partnership that has an impact on policing in the East Midlands and beyond.

EMPAC is about collaborative working between policing and university researchers, focussing on co-defined real world policing problems. It is comprised of five police forces, police and crime commissioners (PCCs) and eight universities in the region, coordinated via the East Midlands Police and Crime Research and Development Plan. 

Forensic Innovation Centre, University of Portsmouth

The Forensic Innovation Centre (FIC) is the result of a unique partnership with Hampshire Constabulary, through which students and academics from the University of Portsmouth work alongside practitioners in all areas of forensic investigative practice and the surrounding areas. The first of its kind, the Forensic Innovation Centre merges day-to-day forensic activity with research and education on a university campus.

The FIC has been designed to provide the ideal environment for research, practice and education in forensic investigation. 

Institute for Global City Policing

The Institute for Global City Policing (IGCP) is an independent centre based at the UCL Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science, funded and managed in partnership with the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC).

Keele Policing Academic Collaboration

The Keele Policing Academic Collaboration (KPAC) brings together one of the UK's most significant academic policing research collaborations focused on partnerships between academics within Keele University and regional, national and international policing partners. 

Its primary purpose is to generate public value on issues related to policing, community safety and justice by providing an effective platform for the co-creation, sharing and application of knowledge.  

N8 Policing Research Partnership

The N8 Policing Research Partnership (N8 PRP) was established to enable and foster research collaborations that will help address the problems of policing in the 21st century and achieve international excellence in policing research. By harnessing the skills, capabilities and resources across the North of England the project will deliver at a scale with real impact by fostering cross-force collaborations.

The Open University Centre for Policing Research and Learning

The Centre for Policing Research and Learning aims to create and use knowledge through research and education to improve policing in order to create public value for society. 

The Centre works in a highly collaborative way with a partnership of 21 police agencies and more than 50 academics at The Open University. Together, they identify key priorities for the programme of work, and design and carry out research, create educational opportunities and materials, and work out how to get knowledge into practice.

Society of Evidence Based Policing

The Society of Evidence Based Policing is made up of police officers, police staff, and research professionals who aim to make evidence based methodology part of every day policing in the UK.

The goals of the society are to:

  • increase use of best available research evidence to solve policing problems
  • facilitate production of new research evidence by police practitioners and researchers
  • communicate research evidence to police practitioners and the public

Scottish Institute for Policing Research

Established in 2007, the Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR) is a strategic collaboration between 14 of Scotland's universities and the Police Service of Scotland, offering a range of opportunities for conducting relevant, applicable research to help the police meet the challenges of the 21st century and for achieving international excellence for policing research in Scotland. 

Staffordshire Forensic Partnership

The Staffordshire Forensic Partnership was formed between Staffordshire University and Staffordshire Police when both realised the benefits of developing a collaborative working relationship. These benefits include improved quality of investigation, improved education and employment opportunities and improved innovation through enhanced research and development.

Universities' Police Science Institute, Cardiff University

The Universities' Police Science Institute was established in 2007 in partnership with South Wales Police to develop the research evidence base for the art, craft and science of policing. Since its inception it has secured £2 million external funding from various policing and governmental agencies.

Warwick University Operational Police Centre

Launched in 2014, the Centre for Operational Policing Research (COPR, pronounced “Copper”) was founded by researchers from Warwick University’s Law School, Psychology Department and Business School.

Since then, COPR has expanded into a multi-disciplinary research centre that unites more than 25 researchers of all levels, and from all faculties, across the Warwick University community. 

The Police Knowledge Fund

The Police Knowledge Fund (PKF) was launched in 2015 to increase evidence in priority areas and embed an evidence-based approach in policing.

It was launched by the College of Policing, the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the Home Office.

In October 2018, the College published its national review of the Police Knowledge Fund (PKF) programme, presenting examples of some of the fund's activities and outputs and their impact on key areas of policing policy and practice.

The programme resulted in 30 partnerships that were developed between police forces and academic institutions, that were not in place prior to the PKF. These supported several hundred academics and police practitioners to work collaboratively to share skills, knowledge and experience in generating and using research evidence

The review provides evidence of how the programme has:

  • developed and accelerated links between academia and the police which influenced how research is produced and used to inform decisions across all levels of policing
  • led to a better understanding by academics of the policing context and vice versa, supporting the delivery of applied research in priority areas including child sexual exploitation, mental health and digital policing, and informing the development of new tools and technical solutions to support tactical and strategic decision making
  • increased capability of officers and staff to apply evidence-based approaches helping them respond to new challenges in a more informed and cost-effective way
  • developed new structures and processes within and between collaborating partners which has supported them to continue beyond the life of the PKF, and in some cases secure additional funding.

Police knowledge fund resources


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