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The Evidence Quarter

College of Policing – What Works Centre for Crime Reduction

The College of Policing is the What Works Centre for Crime Reduction. The Centre was set up in 2013 to map the crime reduction research evidence and get this evidence used in practice. College What Works supports and encourages greater collaboration across organisations with a shared aim of reducing crime. We do this by providing tools and resources that equip policing and other stakeholders to better access, understand and use research evidence in practice. These include:

  • The Crime Reduction Toolkit which summarises the best-available research evidence on what works to reduce crime. The toolkit identifies and labels existing reviews of what works evidence and allows users to weigh up evidence on the impact of an intervention as well as finding out about how it works, where it works, how to do it and what it costs.
  • The Policing and Crime Reduction Research Map plots details of ongoing policing related research at Masters level and above, increasing opportunities for collaboration and enabling forces to engage directly with researchers working on topics of interest to them.
  • The development of Evidence-based policing guidelines brings together independent committees of frontline practitioners, subject matter experts and academics to collectively develop guidelines based on the best available evidence and expertise.
  • How to guides on research methods and other practical resources such as the policing evaluation toolkit and cost benefit tool to be used by practitioners in the design and implementation of new research and interventions.

We also support the generation of new research evidence. Under the vulnerability and violent crime programme we are working in partnership with the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) with funding from a Home Office Police Transformation Fund grant to develop the evidence base on areas such as knife crime, gangs, county lines and child sexual exploitation. In 2018 we reported on the impact of the Police Knowledge Fund, a two year programme between College What Works, the then Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) and the Home Office , which supported the development of police-academic research collaborations to deliver new evidence in priority areas and increase the capability of police officers and staff to apply evidence based approaches to policy and practice.

Further information about the ongoing work of College What Works can be found here. If you would like to receive our regular College What Works email updates or have any questions about our work please contact us at