College chair says that cultural leadership change is needed to alter practices and take risks.
College of Policing Chair Dame Shirley Pearce (pictured) said that senior officers must be willing to accept challenges to change from lower ranks based on evidence of which policing tactics are proven to work.
Dame Shirley said that there is a lack of understanding about the value that evidence has in policing practices and policies, and that cultures needed to change to embed the principles of evidence into the service.
She said: â€œUnless people in policing understand the value of evidence and have some skills to assess the evidence we wonâ€™t get evidence into practice.
â€œEverybody needs to know that evidence and research are valued across policing. There needs to be in policing a culture of leadership which is able to change in light of evidence.
â€œLeaders need the ability to constantly change in light of the evidence. They need to take risks about changing and good evidence needs to help in this area.
â€œThere needs to be a culture change about willingness to change.â€
In addition Dame Shirley, who was taking part in a wider debate about how education can contribute to lead police experiments, said that the knowledge pool policing draws upon needs to be expanded to include other disciplines such as sociology, finance and technology.
She also suggested that the policing environment needs to be more accepting of officers who want to test the fundamentals of policing practice.
â€œThere needs to be an environment that welcomes trials and experiments in order to make predictions and get evidence about what works,â€ she said.
â€œWe have some way to go with that.
â€œThere needs to be to a willingness to accept that evidence comes from all over the place and not just academic houses. We must create a culture where itâ€™s welcomed that someone asks â€˜why did we do it like thisâ€™.
â€œI appreciate how difficult it is to change, but I am so encouraged by the amount of people who want this change.â€
Chief Superintendent Angela Williams, of West Yorkshire Police, said that a certain amount of officers are needed to give evidence based policing the traction it needs.
She said: â€œWe cannot continue to do what we have always done because we donâ€™t have the resource or budget.
â€œWe need a critical mass of people in the force to take this forward and generate interest because it can be difficult otherwise if you are one of a few pushing this.â€
Jo Rowland, of Hampshire Constabulary, said that there is a challenge about how evidence based policing is presented to â€œthe mass of policingâ€.
From Police Oracle