Encouraging and supporting police and academic partnerships

The police-academic partnerships below have been shared by their members. We're keen to capture all relevant collaborations and research hubs so we encourage you to let us know of any that are not listed so that we can add them to the page.  Please email College What Works.   

 Police-academic collaborations

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 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.

Forensic Innovation Centre, University of Portsmouth

The Forensic Innovation Centre (FIC)

The Forensic Innovation Centre (FIC) is the result of a unique partnership with Hampshire Constabulary, through which students and academics from the University of Portsmouth work alongside practitioners in all areas of forensic investigative practice and the surrounding areas. The first of its kind, the Forensic Innovation Centre merges day-to-day forensic activity with research and education on a university campus.

The FIC has been designed to provide the ideal environment for research, practice and education in forensic investigation. 
Its members share an agenda for the advancement of research and development within police forensic science, underpinned by academic evaluation and rigour. Their research is ongoing in all aspects of forensic science - including digital crime, cybercrime, DNA, and finger mark development - and is already yielding operational benefits, with research findings to be published in academic and professional journals. A strong emphasis is placed cross faculty work and the FIC has good links with colleagues within the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies and across the University's departments. Its operational and academic environment is now well established and ideally placed to build opportunities for innovative and practical forensic research.

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.

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.

KPAC provides an environment for the co-production of new research in areas identified as core priorities by its partners where they can work directly with them to mobilise inter-disciplinary expertise and test and evaluate the effectiveness of policing interventions.  This approach will also enable the deployment of leading edge research to offer a fuller understanding of communities, the impact of the justice system, offending cultures and the experiences of victims. 

​N8 Policing Research Partnership


N8 Policing Research Partnership

The N8 Policing Research Partnership (N8 PRP) was established to enable and foster research collaborations that will help address the problems of policing in the 21st century and achieve international excellence in policing research. By harnessing the skills, capabilities and resources across the North of England the project will deliver at a scale with real impact by fostering cross-force collaborations.


  • Building research co-production capacity;

  • Testing mechanisms for exploiting knowledge and expertise to strengthen the evidence-base on which policy, practice and training are developed;

  • Supporting innovation and the professionalisation of policing.


  • Produce high quality, independent research;

  • To build policing research and knowledge exchange capacity in HEIs;

  • To enhance the quality, integrity, scope, synthesis and exploitation of datasets;

  • To develop capacity and resources in (a) policing research and (b) police and crime data analytics;

  • To encourage and foster the development of national and international links;

  • To develop and disseminate a transferable model of practice.

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. 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, Cybercrime and Forensics markets.

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.

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.


Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR)​​


Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR)

Established in 2007,  SIPR is a strategic collaboration between 14 of Scotland's universities and the Police Service of Scotland, offering a range of opportunities for conducting relevant, applicable research to help the police meet the challenges of the 21st century and for achieving international excellence for policing research in Scotland.

SIPR aims to:

  • Facilitate excellent, independent research of relevance to policing (RESEARCH);

  • Engage in a range of knowledge exchange activities to strengthen the evidence base on which policy and practice are improved & developed (KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE);

  • Nurture a culture of learning & innovation (LEARNING AND INNOVATION);

  • Promote the development of national & international links with researcher, practitioner and policing communities (PARTNERSHIPS).


Underlying the direction and achievement of each of these aims are the key strategic research priorities. The following three priorities have been developed in order to inform SIPR’s strategic direction and investment over the coming five years and will allow them to consolidate their activities in policing research.

  1. Policing and health, safety and well-being, including for example: Prevention; Gender Based Violence; Mental health;
    Substance use; Public protection; Missing persons; Community Safety; Local policing, visibility and accessibility;

  2. Technology and digital policing, including for example:  Frontline policing and technology; Digital contact & online communication; Big Data and predictive policing; Cyber security and Digital Forensic investigation;

  3. Organisational capability, including for example: Workforce; Support for operational policing; Retention/ recruitment;
    Business change/ change management; Leadership; Demand; Data; and Investigation. 

Staffordshire Forensic Partnership

Staffordshire Forensic Partnership

The Staffordshire Forensic Partnership was formed between Staffordshire University and Staffordshire Police when both realised the benefits of developing a collaborative working relationship.  These benefits included: improved quality of investigation; improved education and employment opportunities and improved innovation through enhanced research and development.

The main aims of the partnership are to:

  • Create a Police and University partnership that will engage creative energy, push the boundaries and challenge academia and policing to transform forensic science

  • Explore ways to secure justice through evidence capture, enhancement, interpretation and its presentation which is revolutionary

  • Deliver leading-edge services and products from all areas of forensic science to policing and the courts; securing justice for victims, the local community and society as a whole

To achieve this Work-Streams were developed to ensure academia addresses real life Forensic challenges. Each work stream is assigned leads from within both Staffordshire University and Staffordshire Police to prioritise and oversee the projects that sit within it.

Additionally a number of student placement opportunities have been developed which include six week summer placements, three month MSci placements and 12 month sandwich year placements, to undertake short, medium and long term projects. The designated work stream structure also allows for continuity for projects longer than 12 months where needed. There are also opportunities for students to undertake research projects (both undergraduate and postgraduate) in areas of specific interest to the partnership, during their degree studies.

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.

The Institute's research programme is organised around six key research themes:

  • Behavioural crime prevention

  • Disinformation

  • Digital behavioural analytics and open source data

  • Counter-terrorism policing

  • Neighbourhood policing

  • Policing technologies

Warwick University Operational Police Centre


Centre for Operational Policing Research, Warwick University

By uniting world-leading researchers from a broad range of disciplines, including law, psychology, sociology, business, politics and international studies, and engineering, COPR offers a new approach to policing research. Its members have expertise in areas such as organisational and individual behaviour, digital forensics, cyber security, investigative interviews, immigration, ethical challenges around policing technology, as well as the legal regulation of criminal investigations, police custody and suspects' rights.