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 brand new 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

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 Centre for the Study and Prevention of Violence and Abuse (NCSPVA)


The National Centre for the Study and Prevention of Violence and Abuse (NCSPVA)

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. The vision for the NCSPVA is to build on our existing excellent local, national and international reputation to create a centre of excellence for the study and prevention of violence and abuse that will make a significant contribution to knowledge, knowledge transfer, evidence based policy and practice and ultimately to prevention.


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.

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. 

Strategic objectives

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 maximize 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.


Current projects

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).

Current projects