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Evidence Based Policing

What is evidence based policing?
As we continue to look at the Police Service and try to understand a little bit of the police service. I thought it’s an appropriate time to look at an emerging area of policing that is coming into the police service. It’s something that we’re focusing on the BSE for policing course, professional policing course, and that is evidence-based policing. Hopefully I can give you an understanding of the concept and how it’s now infiltrating policing. I’m going to link it back to the origins of the modern police service.
In 1829, Sir Richard Mayne, who was then the joint commissioner of the Metronome Police Service, wrote that ‘‘The primary object of an efficient police service, it was the prevention of crime and then that of detection and punishment of offenders if crime is committed and to these ends or the efforts of the place must be directed. Now, that was something that when you joined the police services as a police constable 20 of years ago, and beyond that, there’s something that you would have learned on that first night. What I want you to take away from that is the fact that a whole objects of police service is to be preventative, is to make our communities safer. What is evidence-based policing?
Evidence-based policing in an area of policing that has gained significant momentum over the last two decades and really has the potential to make quite a meaningful impact on policing by reducing risk and harm within the communities. I think it’s something that links into why there’s now a requirement for police officers to have degrees because it is about a more scientific approach to policing. It’s probably something that I wish I knew when I first joined the police service and probably even towards the end of my career. But the application of an evidence-based approach goes beyond just a practical application in crime-based scenarios as it can be applied in other areas of policing.
This could include how we engage with communities, how we look at barriers in the police service like minority leadership. Or even maybe looking at some of the psychological impacts of policing where officers, for instance, senior discharging their firearms. Why does it need to be introduced into policing? If the police are going to continue to meet the community’s needs, the service they must provide must adapt to the modern policing environment. Now, the police services are very much of a target-driven organization that wants and expects quick results, often driven by the media scrutiny and sometimes obviously political pressure. I think we can all think of those examples.
Now, there’s often been the temptation to employ the same tactics which are believed to have worked. The adoption of an evidence-based approach takes a little bit more time. Now, what we need to consider is what actually is. Evidence-based policing is about gathering and using the best available evidence to inform our decisions, to develop policies, and design programs and practices. The origins of evidence-based approach of well established in several different professions. The most notable probably being the medical profession. The medical profession that conducts extensive research to test medical procedures interventions to ensure that they are effective to treat that patient.
I think about the recent COVID when they’ve been trying to develop a vaccination, how they tested that on people, and also a placebo to see does it really work? Now the movement towards evidence-based practices attempts to encourage, and in some instances, to force professionals and other decision-makers to pay more attention to the evidence when making decisions. The goal of this method, particularly in responsibility, is to eliminate the unsound, outdated practices in favor of more effective ones. By shifting the basis for decision-making from tradition, intuition, and unsystematic experience to a firmly grounded scientific research. The police services becoming more scientific in its approach. If you try something, and it works, you can understand why it’s working.
Is it capable of being reproduced elsewhere? A whole approach to evidence-based policing is very much being driven by the college’s pleasing. Now the best available evidence will assist police officers in prioritizing responses, making decisions, setting policies, allocating resources, and even enhancing employee’s well-being. If we want to be the most efficient, effective police services from a community perspective, that’s what we want. An evidence-based approach allows us to deploy resources from what I described as having the biggest bang for your bucks. It’s making sure that if we are going to put an intervention in place, It’s more likely to work. With evidence-based policing, there’s no app available to split off. There’s all stuff with the right answer to response.
The complexity of the changeability of policing guarantees it, we’re not resulted in algorithm. The use of data analysis and research to complement the experience and professional judgments will help to make it more effective. What we’ve seen out of this is this relationship between the police officer and the academic working in harmony, hopefully often to provide the results and understand why it’s working. Hopefully, that gives you a bit of an understanding around evidence-based policing.
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