Encouraging and supporting police and academic partnerships

Listed below are several of the most prominent police-academic partnerships with details of their members and ongoing projects.

If you know of any other police academic collaborations/partnerships that you think would be useful to share, please email College What Works and we will include them on this page. 


​The Behavioural Insights Team


The Behavioural Insights Team

The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) is a social purpose company, jointly owned by the UK Government; Nesta (the innovation charity); and its employees.

BIT started life inside 10 Downing Street as the world's first government institution dedicated to the application of behavioural sciences. Their objectives remain the same as they always have been:

  • making public services more cost-effective and easier for citizens to use;

  • improving outcomes by introducing a more realistic model of human behaviour to policy; and wherever possible,

  • enabling people to make 'better choices for themselves'

They do this by redesigning public services and drawing on ideas from the behavioural science literature. They are also highly empirical, testing and trialling these ideas before they are scaled up. This enables them to understand what works and (importantly) what does not work.


Canterbury Centre for Policing Research


Canterbury Centre for Policing Research

The Canterbury Centre for Policing Research (CCPR) conducts high quality applied research that aims to involve and advise policing professionals.  Research undertaken by members of the Centre will therefore be both strategic and practical, influencing policy and practice. Their practitioner-centred approach will incorporate the views of all policing practitioners including senior leaders, private sector staff, police officers/staff and policing specialists through engagement with the CCPR and the development of the academic and police advisory group. This will engage officers in the work of the Centre, ensure that all of their researchers are aware of the current challenges in policing and assist the translation of research findings into operational and strategic practice.

Strategic objectives:

  1. To conduct high quality applied research that aims to involve and advise police officers.

  2. To work with police officers of all ranks at all levels to ensure that research findings have an operational / strategic impact.

  3. To consolidate expertise across the University to develop multi discipline research projects.

  4. To work nationally and internationally with other universities and various policing societies, networks and forums.

Key research themes:

  1. Professional development
    The University has a long association with public service and police education and we aim to deliver research that explores: different approaches to learning, professional development and the use of education in policing, the relationship between learning and the impact it has on police practice, evidence based policing, crime analytics and the growing use of technology. Identifying the changing demands facing the police and exploring the skills required to ensure officers can effectively deliver to that demand.

  2. Investigative processes and practices
    Research staff within the School have expertise in various aspects of investigation including: sexual and domestic abuse, crime involving vulnerable people, decision making in criminal investigation and training provision for detectives. 

  3. Governance, legitimacy and participation in policing
    Research has been conducted by School staff on the changing structures of governance, Police Crime Commissioners, neighbourhood policing, police reform, community confidence and legitimacy and wider participation within policing (from other public sector agencies, the public and the concept of social capital and the private sector).

  4. Security, risk and globalisation
    The expertise within CCPR includes public order policing, cyber-crime, terrorism, trafficking and serious crime. Our research interests in police co-operation, compatibility and differences in police structures are also important considerations when responding to global and cross border crime.

Centre for Crime, Justice and Policing


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.

Research themes tackled by the Centre include the following:

  • Evidence based policy and practice

  • Critical approaches to the analysis of "crime", "justice" and "policing"

  • Social Harm

  • Academic-practitioner partnerships

  • Social and political influences on criminal justice policy

  • The public health burden of crime

  • Crime and technology

  • Public perception, understanding and experience of crime

  • Legislation and the criminal justice system

  • Sense making and decision-making within the CJS and military

  • Early intervention

The Centre for Violence Prevention


The Centre for Violence Prevention

The Centre for Violence Prevention (CVP) is an interdisciplinary and inter-professional centre with an overall aim of providing a stimulating and inclusive environment in which to study and understand violence and abuse and its prevention - regardless of who it is perpetrated by, against or between.
Our vision is to become an international centre of excellence in violence prevention research, education and advocacy by bringing together a multidisciplinary team of academics and practitioners in order to develop and disseminate evidence-based practice.

The objectives of the CVP are:

  • To promote academic scholarship through the provision of taught accredited courses, seminars, continuing professional development, training, conferences, partnership working and consultancy

  • To engage in and lead local, national and international interdisciplinary and inter-professional collaborative research, evaluation and scholarship; thus developing an evidence base to inform and influence policy and practice

  • To produce publications including peer reviewed journal articles, books, conference papers, briefing papers and other relevant documentation

  • To encourage students to play an active role in teaching and learning, research, knowledge transfer, awareness raising and campaigning

  • To commit to the participation of service providers and service users in teaching and learning, research and knowledge transfer

  • To respond to and influence new, emerging and topical issues, strategy, policies, initiatives and opportunities in a timely manner via media comment, briefing and position papers and other methods as applicable

The Criminal Justice Research Network

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.

Key aims:

  • Providing mutual understanding of current practices
  • Sharing knowledge of relevant research and expertise
  • Supporting evidence-based change in practice
  • Enabling co-production of practice-informed research (collaborating on design, sharing data and findings)
  • Engaging students in practice-led research
  • Facilitating practitioner- and academic-supported student research

The CJRN will accomplish these aims by hosting a variety of annual events for assisting research development and research and knowledge exchange.

East Midlands Police Academic Collaboration (EMPAC)


East Midlands Police Academic Collaboration (EMPAC)

The East Midlands Policing Academic Collaboration (EMPAC) combines the best of academic expertise and professional policing insight in a dynamic and exciting multilateral partnership that has a tangible 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. EMPAC is committed to driving innovation and sharing knowledge across all policing levels, using assorted mediums.

EMPAC 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.  EMPAC aims to bring the best ideas and insights available and apply these in professional policing practice – 'global to local' – using the region as a social laboratory for innovation. EMPAC's function is based on three main objectives:

  1. To embed or accelerate understanding of crime and policing issues, and research-informed problem-solving approaches.

  2. To demonstrate innovation in building the research evidence base and applying it through knowledge exchange and translation across all levels of policing; and

  3. Inform changes in professional policing policy and practice through the application of a research-driven evidence base.

Institute for Global City Policing


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).  

What the IGCP will do:

  1. Conduct research focussed on policing practice and generating ‘real life’ learning.
    The IGCP will have formalised and long term access to the MPS and MOPAC, and be able to: Access crime and policing data; Research policing delivery/activity; Trial innovative approaches; Conduct experimental research within the MPS and across the wider criminal justice system

  2. Enable the mutual exchange of information and knowledge between academia and policing services via the network of London universities, including contributing to police training and professional development.

  3. Provide postgraduate and professional practitioner fellowships in policing.

​Institute for Public Safety, Crime and Justice, Northampton (IPSCJ)



Institute for Public Safety, Crime and Justice, Northampton (IPSCJ)

IPSCJ is a joint venture between the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire and the University of Northampton. It seeks to bring together cutting-edge academic research and evidence with practice, training and development across agencies.

This will inform the further understanding of the inputs and outcomes of criminal justice and public safety interventions and help to embed a clear relationship between evidence of 'what works' and practice 'on the ground'.

Keele Policing Academic Collaboration (KPAC)

KPAC Logo.jpg 

Keele Policing Academic Collaboration (KPAC)

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.  

Core collaborators will be local and regional policing partners and stakeholders within the communities they police.  But KPAC's influence will extend well beyond this through the global significance of its research and its broad ranging national and international networks. 

Knowledge co-production is central to KPAC's mission - the idea of academics, policing partners and stakeholders working together to shape priorities and activities - combining practical expertise, academic knowledge and stakeholder perspectives across a broad range of issues to address the full range of challenges faced by modern policing.


​N8 Policing Research Partnership


N8 Policing Research Partnership

The N8 Research Partnership is a collaboration of the eight most research intensive Universities in the North of England: Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York.

The N8 Policing Research Partnership (N8 PRP) enables universities and policing partners to develop research and exchange knowledge activities that address key policing issues. The N8 PRP provides a regional hub for the north of England, generating research and knowledge exchange work of national relevance and international significance

The National Rural Crime Network


The National Rural Crime Network

The National Rural Crime Network is working to see greater recognition and understanding of the problems and impact of crime in rural areas so more can be done to keep people safer.The National Rural Crime Network believes that the scale, cost, social impact and other effects of crime in rural areas are underestimated, under-reported and not fully understood. Therefore aims to shine a light on the issues, to improve understanding and enhance community safety.

The Open University Centre for Policing Research and Learning

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.  This model is based on a genuinely collaborative working relationship, bringing together and sharing the key knowledge, skills and experience of practitioners and academics to identify and solve problems and challenges.   The projects contribute to evidence-based practice and support continuing professional development, including through educational qualifications in policing such as degrees as well as informal learning.  Once the partnership has created new knowledge it is shared more widely across all policing agencies. 

Police partners add valuable insights, expertise and context to the design, delivery and interpretation of research, and also identify key areas for educational materials.  CPRL academics come from a variety of areas of expertise relevant to policing – not only criminology and forensic psychology, but also engineering, computer science, web science, operations management, leadership and organization, educational technology and more.  

Research projects
Centre research is organised in four themes: 1. Investigation, community and vulnerability, 2. Digitally-enabled policing, 3. Leadership, management and organization,  4. Health, well-being and resilience with cross-cutting interests in learning, knowledge into practice, evidence and practice. These themes were refined and enhanced during 2018, with the addition of health, well-being and resilience.

Projects range from: Demand management; Individual and organizational learning; Leadership to create public value; Police wellbeing through to Tackling gun crime; How police and citizens use social media to investigate crime; Simulations to enhance training, Using complexity science to tackle policy and practice issues; Cybercrime; Forensics markets; Citizen and police use of social media; Witness identification; Ethics and leadership and Public value.

Educational materials, courses and qualifications
The Centre creates lively, informative, engaging and relevant education opportunities, including a wide range of educational courses and qualifications from bite-sized informal learning free and available anywhere and anytime, through to part-time PhD study – and lots in between. These can provide police officers and staff with informal CPD or with formal qualifications such as degree apprenticeships, use of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in further study, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Evidence-based Practice.

Knowledge into practice  
The Centre is also interested in whether and how new knowledge is and can be mobilised into practice, and what operational and organizational changes may need to happen to accommodate new knowledge. In addition, the impact of research and knowledge sharing within and across police agencies.

The Centre offers an innovative range of activities help to translate research knowledge into policy and practice, including evidence cafés, peer learning visits, workshops, conferences, and the secondment of police officers and staff into ongoing research projects. CPRL policing partners are happy to share their experiences of working with the Centre – a full list of partners is available on the CPRL website.

Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research


Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research

The Partnership is an initiative of Research Councils UK and was established in 2008 as the Global Uncertainties Programme.  It aims to deliver high quality and cutting edge research to help improve our understanding of current and future global security challenges.

The Partnership focuses on the core areas of:

It supports collaboration by bringing together researchers from across disciplines to work together on innovative research projects. By creating opportunities for knowledge exchange between government, industry and the third sector, it aims to deliver impact beyond the academic community.

Policing Institute for Eastern Region (PIER)


Policing Institute for Eastern Region (PIER)

PIER is Anglia Ruskin's newest research institute. It is situated in the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences but with a university wide remit to work with police practitioners to support policing improvement in the Eastern Region (and beyond) through the co-production and delivery of research, continuing professional development and knowledge exchange activities. To do this, PIER can draw upon the collective expertise from across the university in areas such as leadership and organisational development, health and social care, technology, crime and public protection.

PIER's vision is to become renowned for delivering and supporting high quality, innovative and forward thinking policing research and professional development that contributes to more effective police practice. It will be recognised for it's trans-disciplinary, cross-sector, practitioner-academic model of working, successfully bringing together the skills and experience of all for the purposes of policing improvement. 

The strategic objectives are:

  • To work collaboratively with police and other agencies to co-produce rigorous and relevant research into policing and crime.

  • To bring together expertise from across the University to conduct trans- disciplinary research into policing and crime.

  • To provide opportunities for academics and police practitioners to exchange knowledge and maximise the impact of research on policy and practice.

  • To provide high quality education and continuing professional development opportunities for police practitioners in the region.

Society of Evidence Based Policing


Society of Evidence Based Policing

The society 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 as follows:

Aim One: Increased use of best available research evidence to solve policing problems

  • Raise awareness of the value of evidence-based practice.

  • Provide access to research tools and guidance.

  • Advocate evidence-based practice across all policing bodies.

  • Provide a forum for police professional researchers.

 Aim Two: The production of new research evidence by police practitioners and researchers

  • Support police practitioners to undertake research projects.

  • Support police practitioners to access research expertise.

  • Support researchers to access police data.

  • Facilitate awareness of ongoing police research projects.

​Aim Three: Communication of research evidence to police practitioners and the public

  • Disseminate police-based research to different audiences.

  • Present the implication of research findings for policing practice.

Membership of the society is open to any member of police staff or researcher who is committed to making a positive impact in the community through using the best available research evidence.  Membership is free and gives access to: reduced price conferences, reduced subscription to the journal of experimental criminology, and the ability to network & learn from other practitioners.

UCLan Criminal Justice Partnership


UCLan Criminal Justice Partnership

The UCLan Criminal Justice Partnership is made up of a team of academic experts from a range of different disciplines that have come together to respond to the cross-cutting demands of the sector.

The Criminal Justice Partnership aims to:

  • Deliver impact on policy and practice

  • Deliver world leading research

  • Drive the Innovation agenda in Criminal Justice

  • Provide a coherent offer driven by the needs of the sector

  • Provide a strong evidence base

Key areas of research include:

  • Social and restorative justice

  • Youth and justice

  • Policing

  • Mental Health and criminal justice

  • Violence and aggression

Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR)​​


Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR)

SIPR is a collaboration between Police Scotland and 12 Scottish universities established to carry out high quality, independent research and to make evidence-based contributions to policing policy and practice. SIPR aims to:

  • undertake high quality, independent research of relevance to policing in Scotland;

  • engage in a range of knowledge exchange activities in order to strengthen the evidence base on which policing policy and practice are developed;

  • provide a single focus for policing research in Scotland in order to foster the development of national and international links with other researchers, policy makers and practitioners involved in policing research.


Thematic networks

The activities of SIPR are organised around four thematic networks. 

  • Police-Community Relations - focusing on the relationships between police and different social, cultural and economic communities

  • Evidence and Investigation - focusing on the role of the police in the recovery, interpretation and effective use of intelligence and evidence in the investigation of crime

  • Education and Leadership - focusing on the internal dynamics of police organisations, including issues of management, policy and leadership

  • Public Protection - focusing on research on policing and public protection and links with other bodies to influence policy and practice                                                                                


Universities' Police Science Institute, Cardiff University


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 £2million external funding from various policing and governmental agencies.  Combining academic rigour with a strong focus upon policy and practice, it has achieve international renown for its innovations in designing, developing and accessing new solutions to policing problems.  The institute's work ranges from 'problem-finding' to 'problem-solving' across the full spectrum of policing.

Warwick University Operational Police Centre


Warwick University Centre for Operational Policing Research

Launched in 2014, the Centre for Operational Policing Research (COPR) is a new interdisciplinary research centre bringing together the departments of Warwick Business School (WBS), Law and Psychology. With the aim of developing a research agenda that is both intellectually innovative and has clear policy and practice implications within policing. We offer an approach to policing research that encompasses organisational and individual behaviour (from both Business School and Psychology disciplinary perspectives), as well as the legal regulation of criminal investigations and suspects' rights (from a Law perspective, using a socio-legal approach).