BLOG: Det / Supt Chris Davison on making EBP real

Looking forward to the University of Lincoln’s event on 31st October 2016, I wanted to share some thoughts on how EBP might look if we grasp hold of it and make it our own in policing.

Evidence Based Policing isn’t something that has to be done to us, nor does it have to be something that takes up huge amounts of our time, energy or resource. Rather, it can be something that makes us more professional, helps us learn, and improves service delivery, if we work with academics, rather than to have them carry on the work regardless, in isolation from our expert opinion.

I know that there has been some scepticism before about the concept, and I have to say that I have also had scepticism about the concept. My own views have been that Evidence Based Policing, or at least some of the ideas of what it is are highly academic and divorced from operational reality; that it can attempt to over-simplify the complexity of our jobs; that it down-plays the wealth of accumulated knowledge and expertise that officers accumulate throughout their careers, and finally, and perhaps most tellingly, that EBP doesn’t often produce anything more than something of “interest”, rather than properly informing operational policing decisions.

In policing, we’ve been wrestling with the issue of producing useful evidence for operational policing, instigated and informed by our expert police practitioners, which is of benefit to both policing and the academic community.

The conference at Lincoln, a collaboration between EMPAC and the Society of Evidence Based Policing (http://www.sebp.police.uk/ ) , entitled “Evidence Based Policing: So what?” is an opportunity for us to get involved and have our say. We would very like to see as many sceptics attend as the “converted”, as we would really welcome challenge and debate to inform our plans for operationalised EBP in Lincolnshire and beyond moving forward.

See you there!

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