Police and universities advance evidence-based policing across the North of England though investment in N8 Research Policing Partnership


The N8 Research Policing Partnership (N8 PRP) – which combines policing expertise and academic rigour to deliver research that on many areas of policing – has secured funding until September 2024. The renewed support will enable the N8 PRP to remain at the vanguard of modern policing by exploring how forces can adapt to societal changes in order to deliver safety, prevent crime and protect the vulnerable.

N8 PRP was established in 2013 to enable and foster collaborations that will help address the problems of policing in the 21st century and achieve international excellence in policing research. It is a platform for collaboration between universities, police forces, Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), government and other partners working in policing policy, governance and practice.

Existing police forces and PCCs that are partners in the N8 PRP include Cheshire Cumbria, Durham, Humberside, Lancashire, Northumbria, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.

It forms part of the N8 Research Partnership, a collaboration of the eight research-intensive universities in the North of England (Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York).

Funding for the next three years of the N8 PRP was approved by the N8 Board, which agreed to match the funding already agreed by 11 partner police forces.

The N8 PRP is currently led by co-directors Chief Superintendent Ngaire Waine, Head of Criminal Justice at Merseyside Police and Dr Geoff Pearson, Senior Lecturer in Criminal Law at the University of Manchester.

Since its inception, the N8 PRP has served as a vital framework for research collaboration and knowledge exchange between the research, policy and policing communities. The work undertaken by the N8 PRP has focussed on how policing, community safety, crime prevention and victim services have all gone through unprecedented changes in recent years.

Over the past year, the N8 PRP has awarded a series of small grants that have allowed universities to work with police forces to examine how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted various aspects of policing, from disproportionality in fixed penalty notices awarded to ethnic minorities to how domestic violence has been policed during lockdown.

Chief Superintendent Ngaire Waine

Chief Superintendent Ngaire Waine commented: “Since assuming our roles last year, Dr Geoff Pearson and I have seen at first-hand how crucial the work facilitated by the N8 PRP is, both for police forces and for the communities they serve. Thanks to this funding, the N8 PRP will continue to interrogate how evidence-based policing can improve policing responses across all areas of policing whether that be call centres, technology, community confidence or the many different requirements of policing vulnerability.”


Dr Geoff Pearson

Dr Geoff Pearson commented: “We are currently living at a time of great upheaval for the police. It is therefore more important than ever that rigorous research and collaboration is undertaken by academics and policing colleagues in order to help the police respond to the new and developing challenges. The renewed funding for the N8 PRP will enable us to do just that.”