Cheshire Constabulary and the Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire have announced a formal collaboration with the N8 Policing Research Partnership (N8 PRP), an initiative which enables universities and policing partners to develop research and exchange knowledge activities that address key policing issues.
Cheshire Constabulary joins ten other police forces across the North of England that have committed to form a collaborative partnership with the N8 PRP, to provide a regional hub for the north of England, generating research and knowledge exchange work of national relevance and international significance.
Launched in 2013, N8 PRP is an initiative from the N8 Research Partnership. It was recently awarded a £3 million grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), supplemented by in excess of £4.2 million from policing partners and the N8 universities, for its five-year ‘Innovation and the Application of Knowledge for More Effective Policing’ programme. The programme will provide mechanisms to bring researchers and practitioners together to design and undertake research that focuses specifically on new and emerging challenges for policing.
Existing police forces and Offices of the Police and Crime Commissioners that are partners in the N8 PRP include Cumbria, Durham, Humberside, Lancashire, Northumbria, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.
Detective Chief Inspector Brian Roberts, of Cheshire Constabulary, said: “Cheshire Constabulary are committed to being part of the developing relationship between police and academia. Cheshire continue to embed Evidence Based Policing in the county and we already work with local, regional and national academic partners to achieve the best results that we can to improve policing for our communities.
“Cheshire Constabulary saw the opportunity to become involved with the N8 PRP as a further development in the benefits of exchanging knowledge and sharing research ideas to ensure that we do not duplicate existing activity and profit from innovation that truly works to reduce crime and disorder.”
DCI Roberts added that Neighbourhood Policing, supported by specialist units, is at the centre of Cheshire Constabulary’s delivery and that research available from the N8 PRP will support this programme, whether it is innovation around problem solving in communities and businesses, or the innovative research it has developed to tackle organised crime groups in partnership with academics from business departments.
DCI Roberts continued: “There has been for some years a growth in investment in policing that has now been replaced with a period of austerity. This, together with a rapid change in crime – such as a reduction in more traditional crimes – will mean that police organisations will all need to be in a position to adapt and change rapidly and to future proof their agencies.
“Whether the focus is towards new crime types, such as cyber-enabled crime, or police legitimacy, police need to focus their reduced human resources towards activity they know works. To achieve this the relationship between the police and universities is vital – firstly to ensure that real evaluation takes place on police activity and secondly that police begin to take ownership of the research as opposed to it being ‘done to them’, as may have happened in the past.”
Professor Adam Crawford, the Director of the N8 PRP, based in the School of Law at the University of Leeds, said: “The N8 PRP is delighted to welcome Cheshire Constabulary to our growing number of policing partners who are keen to transform relations between the police and universities and, in so doing, ensure a greater role for research evidence in informing policing practices.
“The N8 PRP combines the research excellence and academic expertise of the N8 universities with the resources, capabilities and practical experience of the contributing police forces. This partnership with Cheshire Constabulary further enhances our ability to make a real difference to public safety through cutting-edge research and knowledge exchange.
“With our new five-year programme, which aims to strengthen the evidence base upon which policing policy, practice and learning are developed, the N8 PRP is set to make an important contribution to innovation and the application of research in advancing the professionalization of policing. It is vital that we have partners of the calibre and commitment as Cheshire Constabulary on board and playing a key role in this pioneering work.”
For more information visit www.n8prp.org.uk below.