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Police perceptions of problem-oriented policing and evidence-based policing: evidence from England and Wales

Bullock, Karen; Sidebottom, Aiden; Armitage, Rachel; Ashby, Matthew PJ; Clemmow, Caitlin; Kirby, Stuart; Laycock, Gloria; (2022) Police perceptions of problem-oriented policing and evidence-based policing: evidence from England and Wales. Police Practice and Research pp. 1-18. 10.1080/15614263.2022.2046568. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

The history of policing is littered with reform programmes, which aim to improve effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy. Problem-oriented policing (POP) and evidence-based policing (EBP) are two popular and enduring reform efforts, both of which have generated significant researcher and practitioner attention. There are important similarities between POP and EBP: both approaches provide a framework intended to improve the outcomes of policing. There are also key differences, however, in terms of their main objectives, standards of evidence and units of analysis. Despite both approaches being widely advocated and implemented, presently little is known about police practitioner understanding of the relationship between POP and EBP, both in principle and in practice. To address this gap, this paper draws on survey (n = 4,141) and interview (n = 86) data collected from 19 police forces in England and Wales in 2019 to explore police practitioners’ views on the relationship between POP and EBP, and the extent to which these two approaches inform contemporary police practices. Our findings indicate that respondents generally viewed the two approaches as complementary and important frameworks for orienting police work. However, respondents also drew attention to how the two approaches are not always connected organisationally nor in the minds of police personnel. In addition, challenges were identified in the application of both approaches in practice. Our results suggest that more needs to be done to maximise the potential of POP and EBP, both separately and synergistically. The article concludes by suggesting some ways in which this might be achieved.

Type: Article
Title: Police perceptions of problem-oriented policing and evidence-based policing: evidence from England and Wales
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/15614263.2022.2046568
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/15614263.2022.2046568
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10145380
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