Evidence Base Camp 2


What is Evidence Base Camp 2?

Evidence Base Camp 2 (EBC2) was a two day event held at the end of June 2017. Over 40 officers and staff members attended from a range of forces, ranks and roles. Each attendee came to the event with a particular problem they wanted to address or new approach that they wanted to trial in their force. EBC2 focussed on supporting members with these issues and ideas by increasing understanding of evidence-based policing and helping delegates develop bespoke logic models focussed on the issues they had brought with them. The delegates will reconvene at a one day follow up event in January 2018, to find out and share what happened to their logic models once they were back in force.

This is the second Base Camp held by the College, the first Base Camp looked at systematic reviews and aimed to develop critical thinking, appraisal skills and giving people experience of searching the evidence and identifying what works.

What was the focus of the recent Base Camp?

EBC2 focussed on key principles of evaluation (day one) and on equipping members with the skills and knowledge to develop their own bespoke logic model (day two). Using interactive and scenario based learning, the event covered a wide range of material, including:

  • how and why to take an evidence-based approach
  • how to identify and explore policing problems
  • how to develop a targeted approach, and
  • how to plan your own evaluation to test it your response 'works'.

There were also inputs on research methods, ethics around data and research, different evaluation approaches, how to critically appraisal research, where to find the best available evidence, and how to apply a logic model approach. Chief Inspector Neil Ralph from Devon and Cornwall attended Base Camp as a keynote speaker to share his experience of conducting practitioner research on the front line for the RU2Drunk project.

What sort of questions did people bring to Base Camp?

Delegates brought a range of problems to the Base Camp which broadly fell under the following five areas:

  • Vulnerability (e.g. missing persons, domestic abuse)
  • Digital (e.g. cybercrime)
  • Anti-social behaviour/burglary (e.g. vandalism of public transport)
  • Systems (e.g. aligning force priorities and risks)
  • Other areas (police recruitment, restorative justice)

At EBC2, College researchers were on hand to facilitate groups working together on similar problems and issues as well as supporting delegates in working through their individual research problems and developing logic models to plan their future work.

What general tips are there for developing research questions?

Using a logic model can really help to think through your problem, address the assumptions you might be making, decide the best response to your problem, clarify what you need to deliver your response (your outputs), and how you can measure the success of your response (outcomes). 
The College has produced a logic model template and guide to help officers and staff work through planning an evaluation which can be found here. Delegates at EBC2 helped 'road test' the logic model and provided feedback which feed into the development of the final product.  

How will participants use skills from Base Camp? 

Neil Stain, Hate Crime Co-ordinator from Suffolk Constabulary talks us through what he did at Base Camp, the problem that he brought along and what he will take back to force.

‚Äč"At the Base Camp we spent two days gaining a better understanding of EBP and how we could use it in our individual roles and forces. The days were a combination of presentations, discussions and interactive group work. We heard about a successful EBP case study titled RU2drunk and had the opportunity to ask questions to Neil Ralph.

My problem was how to tackle the under reporting of hate crime which is a local issue for me personally but also an issue nationally and internationally. The Base Camp made me aware that I did not have enough information around the reasons for the under reporting and that I needed to work more on this area before I can look to address the problem. The use of the logic model that is taught on the base camp helped me to identify where I need to spend my time and will be a useful tool for tackling future problems.

I gained a clearer understanding of EBP during the two days as well as having the opportunity to discuss issues with colleagues from forces across the UK that I otherwise would not have met. I also gained a greater interest in research and the role it can play in problem solving; which for me personally has meant that when I finish my current degree in Criminology & Psychology I intend to continue my study by taking a master's degree which I probably would not have done prior to attending the course."

Our support

As well as Base Camps, the College offers a range of hands-on advice and support for members which aim to:

  • Raise awareness of evidence based policing, enabling officers and staff to understand and apply evidence based approaches.
  • Build capability and capacity across the service, helping officers and staff undertake new research projects, understand current practice, and evaluate new initiatives.

Research Surgeries
Research Surgeries take place at College sites around the country and give officers and staff access to hands-on advice and support from specialist College staff to help increase knowledge of research methods and build analytical capacity across policing

The Evidence-Based Policing Champions Network
The What Works Centre for Crime Reduction has developed this network to promote evidence-based practice (EBP) in policing and to share ideas and knowledge across forces. It will enable police forces to support each other in their efforts to embed evidence-based policing, through discussion and collaboration

National Police Library
The National Police Library is the largest police library in Europe. It is based in Ryton but many publications are available online. The library offers free borrowing and access to online databases to College members via the membership website

Crime Reduction Toolkit
The Crime Reduction Toolkit summarises the best available research evidence on what works to reduce crime. It uses the EMMIE framework described below to present evidence from systematic reviews of research on crime reduction interventions in a format that helps users to access and understand it quickly

Policing and Crime Reduction Research Map
The Research Map plots details of relevant ongoing policing related research at Masters level and above. It is intended to increase opportunities for collaboration, and to enable forces to engage directly with researchers working on topics of interest to them. Summaries of relevant randomised control trials (ongoing and completed) are also available on the map.

The feedback was very positive from those who attended EBC2 and we hope to run another Base Camp later this year. We advertise all Base Camps on the membership events page, so please look out for information on future events there.

"I wish I'd done this course 2 and a half years ago. It would have better equipped me to evaluate a number of collaborative projects"  (EBC2 delegate)

"Brilliant opportunity to link up with like-minded colleagues from around the country, to share experiences and advance our knowledge. Thanks!"  (EBC2 delegate)


For further information or to receive the College What Works updates, please email whatworks@college.pnn.police.uk  

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