N8 PRP Commissions Independent External Evaluation

The N8 PRP has commissioned Birkbeck, University of London to carry out an independent evaluation of the Partnership. It will be undertaken by colleagues from the Institute for Criminal Policy Research and led by Senior Research Fellow, Tiggey May.

The aim of the evaluation is to document police officer use and views of the value and usefulness of research evidence following their involvement in the HEFCE funded N8 PRP’s activities. In particular it will examine the use of research evidence by those involved in police decision-making, with the emphasis being on strategic rather than tactical decision-making; and for this reason it will assess the impact – largely but not exclusively – on senior ranks and on Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), rather than on middle managers and front-line supervisors.

The evaluation will assess impact rather than process. In particular it will examine changes in the use of evidence by senior officers, whose remit is to ‘look after and promote’ research policy and strategic decision-making.

The evaluation will aim to establish:

  • how senior officers, police force ‘research guardians’, and PCCs access, use and view evidence
  • if senior officers and PCCs are aware of the products of the N8 PRP;
  • in what way senior officers have used the N8 PRP research products to inform their decision making;
  • whether involvement in an N8 partnership has stimulated an increase in senior police use of research;
  • how senior officers are disseminating research findings to middle police managers and operational
    officers;
  • any other changes to police decision-making and practice stimulated by engagement with the N8 PRP
    and its sponsored research and activities.

The work of the Birkbeck team will be carried out alongside that of our on-going internal evaluation led by colleagues from the N8 PRP’s Evaluation & Monitoring Strand at the University of York, Charlie Lloyd and Dr Geoff Page. The Strand published an interim report in March 2018 looking at the first two years of the N8 PRP which can be found here.

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