Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) has over the last decade made an increasing mark in several fields, notably health and medicine, education and social welfare. In recent years it has begun to make its mark in criminal justice. As engagement with EBP has spread, it has begun to evolve from what might be regarded as a somewhat narrow doctrine and orthodoxy to something more complex and various. Often criminological research has been at odds with the assumptions, conventions and methodologies associated with first generation EBP. In that context EBP poses a challenge to the research community and existing evidence base and is, accordingly, hotly controversial.
This book is a welcome and timely contribution to current debates on evidence-based practice in policing. With a sharp conceptual focus, the chapters provide a critical examination of the recent history of EBP in academic, policy and practitioner communities, evaluate key dimensions of its application to policing, challenge established understandings and pave the way for a much needed change in how research ‘evidence’ is perceived, generated, transferred, implemented and evaluated.
Section 1: Evidence-Based Policing in Context
Introduction: Evidence-based Practice and Policing: Background and Context
Karen Bullock, Nigel Fielding and Simon Holdaway
1. The Development of Evidence-Based Policing in the UK: Social Entrepreneurs and the Creation of Certainty
2. Research Synthesis, Systematic Reviewing and Evidence-based Policing
3. Street-level Theories of Change: Adapting the Medical Model of Evidence-based Practice for Policing
Nick Cowen and Nancy Cartwright
4. Evaluation Evidence for Evidence-Based Policing: Randomistas and Realists
Aiden Sidebottom and Nick Tilley
Section 2: Evidence-Based Policing and Police Practice
5. Evidence-Based Policing: Competing or Complementary Models?
6. Democracy, Accountability and Evidence-Based Policing: Who Calls the Shots?
Kevin Morrell and Mike Rowe
7. Wicked Policing and Magical Thinking: Evidence for Policing Problems that Cannot be ‘Solved’ in an Age of ‘Alternative Facts’
Section 3: Steps Toward Applying Research Evidence to Policing
8. Changing the Narrative: Harnessing Culture as Evidence
9. Effecting Change in Policing Through Police/Academic Partnerships: The Challenges of (and for) Co-production
Section 4: Conclusion
10. Evidence-Based Practice in Policing: Future Trends
"Good law, policy and practice depend on reliable information and analysis. ‘Evidence-led policing’ has been dominated by a narrow methodological and ideological perspective. This excellent collection of essays by many of the UK’s leading policing scholars challenges it, demonstrating how policing can be better understood – and improved – by drawing on methodologically and theoretically diverse research."
Professor David Dixon, Professor of Law and Criminal Justice, UNSW, Australia
"Science progresses by building on the lessons of the past and incorporating them into the realities of the future – a notion fundamental to the growing popularity of evidence-based policing. This is a timely summary of the status quo but importantly, like all good science, takes a constructively critical view of the development. It is a ‘must read’ for current policing practitioners."
Gloria Laycock, Professor of Crime Science, University College London, UK
"This is a must-read book. It is an excellent data-based collection that sets the stage for further careful discussions of the tenuous claims of evidence-based policing. The authors bring evidence to the table! While appreciating the role of ‘evidence,’ the book questions assumptions of the scheme and the extent to which this has altered policing and its case-by-case situated work."
Peter K. Manning, Elmer V.H. and Eileen M. Brooks Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Northeastern University, USA