Building Local Analytical Capability in the Age of Austerity by Emma Williams

The role of the crime and intelligence analysts within policing is a critical one, especially when considering efficient resource allocation at a local level and particularly within the current drive to embed the concept of evidence based policing and strategic decision making. However, much academic research over the past few years has provided evidence that analytical (as distinct from descriptive) capability is underdeveloped and under utilised for a number of reasons.

Currently, police force areas are under huge financial pressure to reduce budgets and use the more limited funds and resources they have available to them effectively. This requires an assurance that tactics and initiatives that actually have an impact are promoted. This has occurred at a time when central top down policy evaluations have been severely reduced and therefore more reliance is placed on individual local force capacity to undertake some form of results analysis or evaluation. Crime analysts are essentially force research assistants and therefore they should be playing a key role within this process. Local police analysts and analysts working for Police Crime Commissioners at a local level need to be provided with the skills to in some way evaluate what local police are doing both as a single agency and as partners with other agencies locally.

Perpetuity could offer local areas the ability to skill up their resources and provide them with knowledge about how to effectively undertake a local evaluation to review both process and / or impact. During a period of austerity this process is vital to the effective delivery of policing at a local level.

Read more about our Criminal Justice, Crime Prevention and Community Safety research here.

This article was written by Emma Williams contact her at

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