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Build on evidence based policing methods and introduce best practice

Evidence Based Policing (EBP) is an approach where police officers and staff create, review and use the best available evidence to inform and challenge their policies, practices and decisions.

Given the ever more challenging and complex landscape in which the police operate, the PCC outlined his shared desire with Dorset Police that the force continue to develop EBP approaches in their focus on the prevention and detection of crime.

Across the Commissioner’s term of office, a number of measures have seen EBP approaches become more embedded within Dorset Police. These include: 

  • Linkage with national EBP organisations including the College of Policing’s ‘What Works’ department, the Society of Evidence Based Policing, the Institute of Criminology at the University of Cambridge and the Police Foundation think tank. 
  • Appointment of an EBP ‘champion’ to raise awareness, promote EBP approaches and share learning and best practice among Force colleagues. 
  • Establishment of a strategic EBP Board which includes PCC representation and coordinates EBP activity and learning against key strategic priorities. 
  • Enhanced training and development with officers and staff offered opportunities such as places on the prestigious MSt Programme at the University of Cambridge, places on the Open University Post-Graduate Certificate in Evidence Based Practice, secondments to the Open University Police Consortium as a Senior Research Fellow and a bursary with the College of Policing for further academic study. 
  • The PCC has worked with Bournemouth University to ensure projects are supported by academic rigour and evidence based policing approaches. 

As well as personal development, the research, study and projects undertaken by officers and staff in EBP approaches can be used to develop and enhance operational policing practices. Since 2013/14, a total of 31 officers and staff have been supported for Open University study and 14 have been supported to take their Masters Degree at Cambridge.

The Strategic EBP Board coordinates this activity which has included issues such as measuring threat, risk and harm, working with young people in court, recording archived cases, and stop and search methods and approaches.

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