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The Policing Lab at Exeter Q-Step aims to promote evidence-based policing through research. We seek to understand and improve policing policy, practice and professionalism through innovative data use and the development of police data collection. The Policing Lab successfully bid for ESRC IAA Strategic Initiative Fund to promote research collaborations with Devon & Cornwall Police (DCP).  With more than 50 academics across the University and a large group of officers and staff in DCP, we are developing a network to facilitate co-production of rigorous research and promote evidence-based policing strategies.

Staff: Katharine Boyd, Brian Rappert

Disciplines: Interdisciplinary

Topics: criminology, policing, data collection/analysis


The overarching aim of the Policing Lab Fund is to further existing relations between Devon and Cornwall Police (DCP) and the University of Exeter (UoE) through promoting evidence-based practice.

Eligible activities for submission to the Fund included activities:

  • co-developed between DCP and the UoE;
  • focused on problems and responses;
  • underpinned by research excellence;
  • with a likelihood of a positive impact on policing and societal wellbeing; and
  • relate to activities fundable through the disciplinary remit of the Economic and Social Research Council.

Applicants were expected to address DCP force mission, force priorities, Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner priorities and/or one of the Policing Lab primary strategic areas for collaboration (i.e., data analytics, tactics, professionalisation, and/or innovation) within their applications.  In addition, all submission required a at least one UoE PI and one DCP officer/staff PI.  Applicants could request up to £20,000 in funds.  Applications were due 14th of October, 2019.

Decisions were made by a review panel of six individuals from the UoE, DCP, OPCC, and College of Policing (CoP).  The panel considered peer review feedback on any application requesting £5,000 or more.  Peer reviewers were from both DCP and UoE.

Of the ten applications that were submitted six were awarded funds.