Wellington Scoop

Police open centre for research into evidence-based decision-making

News from NZ Police
The Police mission – for New Zealand to be the safest country – will be enhanced through the new Evidence Based Policing Centre which was opened by Minister of Police Stuart Nash in Wellington today.

New Zealand Police, the University of Waikato, and the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) are joint partners in the Centre, alongside Police’s strategic partner Vodafone New Zealand.

Staff from the Police, the University of Waikato, and ESR will use the Centre to collaborate on research projects designed to improve the Police’s frontline capabilities.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush says the launch of the Centre marks an opportunity for the Police to make operational decisions based on the best possible research, data, and knowledge of “what works”.

“Our people are and will always be our greatest asset. But we want to make sure that when they’re making decisions, they’re basing them on the most up-to-date information, the latest research and the best crime science. The establishment of the Evidence Based Policing Centre gives us the opportunity to partner with others to provide the best evidence, analytics, and practice design to assist with that.”

University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley says the university is pleased to use its specialist knowledge to make a difference towards preventing crime and victimisation.

“Through its Institute for Security and Crime Science the University of Waikato is providing national leadership in the analysis of data relating to criminal behaviour and the use of modern analytical techniques to detect, predict and prevent crime. Our new partnership will allow us to support New Zealand Police with a wide range of research provided by academic experts in computer science, data analysis, strategic studies and psychology, while at the same time ensuring that our research is making a real and practical difference to frontline policing and helping to create safer communities.”

ESR Chief Executive Keith McLea says ESR is looking forward to contributing to Police’s work to help keep New Zealanders safe.

“Evidence based policing ensures Police strategies, operations and tactics are based on the best possible evidence. ESR scientists will use their expertise and skills to manipulate and study demographics to provide a deeper understanding of crime.”

The establishment of the Evidence Based Policing Centre is another step in the relationship between Vodafone and Police, Vodafone New Zealand Chief Executive Russell Stanners says.

“Vodafone has a proud history of supporting the New Zealand Police to adopt new technologies that help prevent crime and protect our communities. We are pleased to be able to support the Police further by providing an office space in Vodafone House, which will be home to their new evidence based policing centre.”

The agreement between the parties will be for five years.

News from NZ Government
A new centre designed to encourage collaboration between Police, scientists and crime researchers has been opened in Wellington by Police Minister Stuart Nash. The Evidence Based Policing Centre brings together Police, the University of Waikato, and the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) as joint partners. The agencies and the centre are also supported by Police strategic partner, Vodafone New Zealand.

The three agencies will work collaboratively in an open environment to focus on crime and science research and other initiatives to benefit operational policing.

“The Centre is designed to better inform Police in their work to prevent crime and protect the public. It uses information, crime-science and problem-solving methods to lead to better, smarter, and more efficient ways of working,” says Mr Nash.

“I am a firm believer in the need for agencies and sectors to work together to solve problems. The mix of skills and experience at this new Centre will produce research and potential innovations drawn from a rich source of data, information and expertise.

“This evidence base will inform Police strategy and tactical decision-making at the frontline to help ensure Police do an even better job at preventing and responding to crime and victimisation.

“This approach fits squarely with Police’s ‘Prevention First’ model and is another example of an organisation constantly challenging itself to look for new ways of preventing crime and ensuring public safety.

“When the first of our intended 1800 new officers join the Police, the organisation will have a much greater understanding of what works well and where enhancements can be made. This Centre has the very real potential to be world-leading in the field of evidence-based policing and I wish every success to all those involved,” says Mr Nash.