A study exploring police forces' and academics' in England and Wales experiences of embedding and sustaining evidence-based policing police-academic partnerships

Research Institution / Organisation

Liverpool John Moores University

Principal Researcher

Charlotte Watkinson-Miley

Level of Research


Project Start Date

June 2019

Research Context

This research has the overall aim of understanding how police forces and higher education institutions, at all levels of the organisation, have embedded and developed police-academic partnerships and other EBP mechanisms in response to the NPCC’s 2025 Policing Vision to embed research-informed thinking into operational practice. The study is being undertaken as part of the principal investigator's PhD thesis.

This study aims to achieve the following:


  • To understand the challenges, tensions and opportunities to police-academic partnerships and mechanisms that these forces have created in engaging with the agenda.
  • To understand how sustainable these police-academic partnerships or mechanisms are for the future.
  • To understand organisational leaders and those responsible for the EBP agendas aims and ambitions for future working.


The research is utilising a mixed methods approach engaging with online surveys nationally distributed to forces and academics. As well as interviews and focus groups with two police forces.

Research Methodology

This study is a mixed methods study, utilising qualitative interviews and focus groups combined with an online survey. The qualitative element will explore two specific police forces in the North of England, interviewing a mix of rank and roles both in police forces and universities. 

The quantitative element of the methodology is an online national survey which explores the research aims on a larger scale. The questionnaire is facilitated and distributed by the College of Policing to national leads with experience of engaging with police-academic partnerships. 

For the qualitative element there is a target sample size of 50 participants. This is based on the relevant roles in the police forces engaged and academic partners. The quantitative survey will be distributed to approximately 360 participants, and the research aims to receive a representative response rate from that sample.

The inclusion criteria for this research is as follows:


  • Officers and staff who have responsibility for embedding evidence-based policing;
  • Active stakeholders such as the seconded officers and embedded researchers;
  • Academics involved in police-academic partnerships;
  • All officers and staff who have undertaken higher education study and/or research.


Interviews and focus groups will be thematically analysed and coded. The survey will be analysed using SPSS.

Interim reports and publications

​Not available

Date due for completion

March 2022
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