Policing Research Partnership

Policing, community safety, crime prevention and victim services have all gone through unprecedented change in recent years. This provides an ideal opportunity for research collaboration and knowledge exchange between the research, policy and practitioner communities.

The N8 Research Partnership has established the N8 Policing Research Partnership (N8 PRP) to enable and foster research collaborations that will help address the problems of policing in the 21st century and achieve international excellence in policing research and impact.

The aim of N8 PRP is to establish and formalise a regional network of research and innovation in policing. It provides a platform for collaborations between universities, Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), government, police forces, and other partners working in policing policy, governance and practice.

The ambition of N8 PRP is to produce knowledge that has a public purpose, engages with different groups and informs public debate. In pursuing this, N8 PRP offers opportunities for research at different scales including local, regional, national and international issues.

The N8 PRP is not restricted to the study of the police organisation but works on the basis that ‘policing’ consists of different agencies within and beyond the police. Given that policing is conducted for, with and by members of the public, a central element of the co-production model used involves public engagement, both during the research and in its dissemination.

A list of partners working with N8 PRP can be found here.


  • Building research co-production capacity;
  • Testing mechanisms for exploiting knowledge and expertise to strengthen the evidence-base on which policy, practice and training are developed;
  • Supporting innovation and the professionalisation of policing.


  • Produce high quality, independent research;
  • Build policing research and knowledge exchange capacity in universities;
  • Enhance the quality, integrity, scope, synthesis and exploitation of datasets;
  • Develop capacity and resources in both policing research and police and crime data analytics;
  • Encourage and foster the development of national and international links;
  • Develop and disseminate a transferable model of practice.


Research Activities

N8 PRP is running a five-year programme of research and knowledge exchange pioneering innovative collaboration between police forces and universities in the North of England. Funded by a £3m grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and supplemented by more than £4 million from policing partners and the N8 universities. The programme has enabled the partnership to take a major step forward in developing and testing innovative approaches to policing and crime reduction.

The N8 PRP website hosts a list of academic experts by theme as well as Regional Leads for the geographic area covered by the partnership, who can help with signposting to relevant local researchers, to support police partners interested in commissioning research or an academic evaluation of a project.

N8 PRP was awarded a grant by the College of Policing to progress its work and establish a regional hub for policing research and knowledge exchange. Read more about this project here.


Small Grants

The Small Grants scheme provides pump-priming funds to support research into targeted and important areas of policing work and areas where the gaps in knowledge are most prominent and where research benefits are of greatest value

The scheme places an emphasis on co-production, innovation and impact and brings together academics, the police and other partners to work on joint projects. To date, a total of £340k has been awarded to support 15 projects. Issues addressed in projects include policing cryptocurrency, coercive control and modern slavery.

Policing Innovation Forum

Innovation lies at the heart of N8 PRP’s strategy, and the Policing Innovation Forum acts as the engine of such innovation. The annual event brings together academics, police and practitioners from other services to focus on a highly topical area of policing. The purpose of each Forum is to spawn new synergies, to identify novel research opportunities, and to stimulate knowledge exchange.

Past forum events have focussed on Cybercrime, Domestic Abuse, Vulnerability and early intervention, Mental Health, and Knife Crime.

People & Knowledge Exchange

Fostering greater mutual understanding and trust between the partners is a major goal of N8 PRP and the People & Knowledge Exchange strand is a key component of this. The partnership facilitates a range of staff exchange opportunities, including secondments, internships and placements.

Data Analytics

N8 PRP established the Data Analytics Digital Service (DADS) as a one-stop resource for locating and requesting policing data for both police and academic researchers. It also represents a collaboration and learning platform where researchers and practitioners can interact and develop a community of practice around data analysis.

As part of the partnership’s Training & Learning activities, N8 PRP has also developed a Data Specialists in Policing CPD Programme, designed specifically for police staff engaged in data analysis work.

How can you work with us?

For further information about N8 PRP and how to get involved, please contact:

Dr Geoff Pearson – Academic Co-Director

Helen Gordon-Smith – Project Manager

Visit the N8 PRP Website:




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 N8 PRP Annual Report 2020-2021

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 N8 PRP Annual Report 2019-2020

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 N8 PRP Annual Report 2018-2019

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 N8 PRP Annual Report 2017-2018

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 N8 PRP Annual Report 2016-2017

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 N8 PRP Annual Report 2015-2016

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