About College What Works

The College of Policing is the What Works Centre for Crime Reduction, established in 2013.

College What Works collates and shares research evidence on crime reduction and supports its use in practice.  It is part of a network of What Works Centres created to provide robust and comprehensive evidence that will guide decision-making on public spending.  For more information, see the Gov.uk website

Key areas of work include :

1. ​Evidence into practice ​

Vulnerability and violent crime programme ​

The College, with the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), has a Home Office Police Transformation Fund grant  to use and develop the evidence base on vulnerability and violent crime including knife crime, gangs, county lines, criminal exploitation of young people, and child sexual abuse/ exploitation.

Evidence-based policing guidelines ​ ​

Developed by bringing together an independent committee of academics, practitioner topic experts and frontline practitioners to collectively develop guidelines using the best-available evidence.

2. ​Practical tools

Crime Reduction Toolkit​

The  Toolkit summarises the best-available research evidence on what works to reduce crime; labelling evidence on interventions in terms of their impact on crime reduction, how they work, where they work, how to do them and the economic cost.  The Toolkit can be viewed in Table Mode or Bubble Mode.  

Evidence-based policing (EBP) maturity model

A self-assessment tool to reflect on progress in integrating EBP into your organisation. It describes typical features that characterise an evidence-based organisation at different stages of development.  The Evidence Champions Network also supports forces to embed evidence-based policing. 

​​Cost benefit tool

This tool helps practitioners make more accurate cost-benefit assessments.  It allows the input of all relevant cost/benefit data to calculate total expenditure on one or more interventions or programmes, and/or to compare the average annual expenditure before and after the introduction of the intervention.  

Policing evaluation toolkit

This tool brings together evaluation design and implementation strategies that can be used to ensure evaluations are designed in such a waythat strong statements of causal impact can be made.


Logic Model ​ ​

A tool to help you plan and evaluate a project, policy or tactic.  This is a handy guide and template to help you to think critically about the links between your problem, your intervention and your measures of success to show how and why your intervention might work. ​ Other support resources including a series of 'How to' guides are available here.

3. Facilitating collaboration ​


Police Knowledge Fund

The College of Policing, the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the Home Office launched the two year Police Knowledge Fund (PKF) in 2015 to increase evidence in priority areas and embed an evidence-based approach in policing. ​ ​A full catalogue of all PKF products is available here.

Academic Support Network

This network provides peer support for police officers and staff studying for academic qualifications.  It aims to support wellbeing and provides a mechanism for sharing hints and tips for studying while working in policing. 

​4. Building capability ​ ​​

College bursary scheme

The bursary scheme provides funding to support police officers and staff undertaking higher education academic study.

Research surgeries

Research Surgeries give officers and staff the opportunity to get bespoke advice and guidance on any research issue facing them or their force.  Surgeries take place at College sites around the country, giving officers and staff access to hands on advice and support from specialist College staff. 



If you would like to receive our regular College What Works email updates, contact us at whatworks@college.pnn.police.uk and ask to be added to our mailing list.