The adoption of evidence-based policing: the pivotal role of first line police leaders across England and Wales

Ian Pepper, Colin Rogers, James Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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First line leaders across the emergency services are instrumental in leading the development of a workforce fit to face current and future challenges. As such in addition to utilising their specific craft, leaders need to be equipped to understand and apply evidence-based practices.
With a focus on first line leadership in policing, this paper will have both national and international resonance for those organisations attempting to embed an evidence-based culture.
The paper utilises a review of literature to develop a viewpoint identifying challenges and benefits of the adoption of evidence-based policing (EBP) by first line leaders.
First line leaders, whether police officers, police staff or volunteers, require opportunities to develop their own knowledge, understanding and skills of applying EBP in the workplace. Acknowledging challenges exist in the widespread adoption of EBP, such learning, at the appropriate educational level, will enable leaders to effectively champion the adoption of EBP, informing both their own decision making and professional practices as well as those across their teams.
The first line leader role is highly influential, as such, it is essential that these leaders develop their knowledge, understanding and application of EBP in the workplace in order to lead the expected cultural change.
This paper provides a current framework for the understanding of the context and potential impact of educationally levelled formal leadership learning required to champion the broad adoption of EBP across policing.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2023-0020
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Emergency Services
Issue number00
Early online date15 Dec 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Dec 2023


  • First line leadership
  • Policing
  • Evidence-based policing
  • Educational level
  • Leadership development


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