chapter  10
Police officers and academics working together
WithDorothy Newbury-Birch, Tony Power, Angela Tomlinson, Mark Hatcher, Mick Urwin
Pages 7

In 1998, Lawrence Sherman advocated for “evidence-based policing”, arguing that “police practices should be based on scientific evidence about what works best” (Sherman 1998). Like other police researchers and innovative police chiefs at the time, Sherman argued that rigorous and systematic scientific research should be used and generated by the police to make both tactical and strategic decisions. However, as others have argued, this information needs to be translated into everyday decision-making (Sherman 1998; Newbury-Birch et al. 2016a). This approach is now recognised as the best, and correct, way to conduct research in the police setting (Sherman et al. 1997; Farrington et al. 2002). However, practitioners often want, and, in fact, need ‘quick fix’ answers to complex problems and telling them that a project may take two years or longer to complete is frustrating to them (Newbury-Birch et al. 2016a). It is therefore important, some would argue, imperative, to include practitioners and individuals involved in the police service in all stages of research (Newbury-Birch et al. 2016b). By doing this, both academics and police staff can share experiences and learning with and from each other. This is summed up perfectly by Shepherd, 2014, as evidence needing to flow through the ecosystem from generation to end-user, where both push and pull are needed (Shepherd 2014).