Assessing the appetite for evidence based policing: A UK based study

Ian Palmer, Stuart Kirby*, REBECCA PHYTHIAN

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Although evidence-based policing (EBP) has emerged in Europe, Australasia and the Americas, its level of implementation has received little scrutiny. Using a questionnaire completed by 625 police staff employed by a major UK police force, this study examines how police employees both view and use evidence-based practice. The study found that although the term EBP was recognized widely, its use was less apparent. The findings specifically distinguished lower ranked officers from senior police officers, and discriminated between warranted (sworn) officers and non-warranted (unsworn) civilian staff. It showed that lower ranking officers (constables) were more likely to value experience over academic evidence and collaboration, whereas senior ranks were much more likely to embrace EBP principles. Further, civilian staff were less likely to view new ideas as a ‘fad’ and be more open to research experimentation and evaluation, albeit they had fewer internal avenues to pursue professional development. In summary, it is argued that to develop an environment in which EBP can thrive, explicit implementation plans that consider issues such as organizational culture, are helpful.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-100
JournalInternational Journal of Police Science and Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • evidence-based policing
  • police organizational culture
  • EBP
  • policing
  • police survey


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