Evaluating the new architecture of policing: the College of Policing and the National Crime Agency - Home Affairs Contents

7  A body of knowledge

77. The creation of the College of Policing presents an opportunity to link the world's best universities with the world's best police service. We have previously recommended that collaborative work with universities should be overseen by the College of Policing so that could be standardised across forces, both for the benefit of national professional standards and for officers, whose qualifications should be recognised from force to force.[98]

78. The potential for work in this area was also highlighted by the Home Secretary during her speech at the College of Policing Conference in October:

    As the College matures it will need to continue fostering links with universities and academics. It will need to constantly develop research and generate an ever better evidence base on the effectiveness of different strategies and practices for reducing crime. The projects you support and work on will also need to have a strong evaluating base so that we can improve practice over time. And I am clear that the Police Innovation Fund must go further too, to ensure that every bid is evaluated properly and its results shared with the College and other forces to learn the lessons of innovative projects. [99]

79. However, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe called for a separate collective body of knowledge from which policing could develop. He argued that universities "don't care about policing":

    You have engineering faculties and medical faculties, but nobody cares about policing. We just have the responsibility for keeping 60 million people safe. It seems to me that we need a body of knowledge in the big universities from which something like the College of Policing can then train, set standards and monitor.

He argued that UK universities should create chairs of policing and policing faculties which the College of Policing could then work with, rather than lead on.[100]

80. Sir Hugh Orde thought that the College should and would do more with universities through commissioning and partnership working, but that the College was "the right place for the research undertaken by officers on what works in policing".[101] Professor Dame Shirley Pearce had "huge sympathy" with Sir Bernard's proposal reflected on Sir Bernard's idea, and said that forces and universities needed to be establishing partnerships to develop a knowledge base. The College should support that, not take its place.[102]

81. The creation of the College of Policing is an opportunity to link the world's best universities with the world's best police service. The College should work directly with universities, and also encourage local forces to do likewise. Additionally, the key role for the College will be to bring together the best research, the best evidence, the best experience and knowledge, and disseminate that through signposting and guidance to benefit every police officer. For some considerable time there has been an Institute of Criminology at Cambridge University whose research and findings have been widely recognised.

98   Home Affairs Committee, Third Report of Session 2013-14, Leadership and standards in the police, HC 67-I, Paras 35-36 Back

99   https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/home-secretarys-college-of-policing-speech Back

100   Home Affairs Committee, Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, HC 711, Oral evidence, 11 November 2014, Qq 232-233 Back

101   Qq 17-18 Back

102   Q153 Back

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Prepared 17 February 2015