The Rise of Evidence-Based Policing: Targeting, Testing, and Tracking

  title={The Rise of Evidence-Based Policing: Targeting, Testing, and Tracking},
  author={Lawrence W. Sherman},
  journal={Crime and Justice},
  pages={377 - 451}
  • L. Sherman
  • Published 1 August 2013
  • Law
  • Crime and Justice
Evidence-based policing is a method of making decisions about “what works” in policing: which practices and strategies accomplish police missions most cost-effectively. In contrast to basing decisions on theory, assumptions, tradition, or convention, an evidence-based approach continuously tests hypotheses with empirical research findings. While research on all aspects of policing grew substantially in the late twentieth century, the application of research to police practice intensified in the… 
Evidence-based policing
The concept of evidence-based policing is a relatively new approach to policing that has been drawing the attention of the scientific and professional public for more than two decades, and which was
Evidence-Based Policing Is Here to Stay: Innovative Research, Meaningful Practice, and Global Reach
Research Question In the context of important advances as well as global reach, what more is needed for evidence-based policing to bridge the divide between academic research and police practice?
Policing Research and the Rise of the ‘Evidence-Base’: Police Officer and Staff Understandings of Research, its Implementation and ‘What Works’
Despite the pitfalls identified in previous critiques of the evidence-based practice movement in education, health, medicine and social care, recent years have witnessed its spread to the realm of
Moving beyond “Best Practice”: Experiences in Police Reform and a Call for Evidence to Reduce Officer-Involved Shootings
In post-Ferguson America, police departments are being challenged to implement evidence-based changes in policies and training to reduce fatal police-citizen encounters. Of the litany of
Police Leadership in Fostering Evidence-Based Agency Reform
Leading an evidence-based police agency is easier said than done. In policing, the rhetoric of being evidence-based far outstrips the reality. In this article, we examine the role of police leaders
Examining the Empirical Realities of Proactive Policing Through Systematic Observations and Computer-Aided Dispatch Data
The 2017 National Academies of Sciences (NAS) Committee and Report on Proactive Policing highlighted what we know about the effects of proactive policing practices on crime prevention and
Improving policing by integrating craft and science: what can patrol officers teach us about good police work?
ABSTRACT Evidence-based policing is one of the latest attempts to change what the police do and how they do it. Within this context the craft of policing is acknowledged but generally undervalued.
Evidence-Based Policing and Fatal Police Shootings: Promise, Problems, and Prospects
The promise of evidence-based policing is to reduce harm with better research for targeting, testing, and tracking police actions. The problems of using evidence-based policing to reduce harm are
To what extent do Canadian police professionals believe that their agencies are ‘Targeting, Testing, and Tracking’ new policing strategies and programs?
Abstract Some researchers suggest that police professionals see little value in adopting evidence based approaches to tackle policing challenges. To examine this issue, 586 Canadian police
Assessing the appetite for evidence based policing: A UK based study
Although evidence-based policing (EBP) has emerged in Europe, Australasia and the Americas, its level of implementation has received little scrutiny. Using a questionnaire completed by 625 police


The Evidence-Based Policing Matrix
The next phase of evidence-based policing requires both scholars and practitioners to move from lists of specific studies about “what works” to using that information strategically. This requires
Fairness and effectiveness in policing : the evidence
Because police are the most visible face of government power for most citizens, they are expected to deal effectively with crime and disorder and to be impartial. Producing justice through the fair,
Police Science: Toward a New Paradigm
We believe that a radical reformation of the role of science in policing will be necessary if policing is to become an arena of evidence-based policies. We also think that the advancement of science
How Much Time Should the Police Spend at Crime Hot Spots? Answers from a Police Agency Directed Randomized Field Trial in Sacramento, California
Hot spots policing has been shown to be an effective strategy for reducing crime across a number of rigorous evaluations, but despite this strong body of research, there still exist gaps in our
Hot Spots of Predatory Crime: Routine Activities and the Criminology of Place
A leading sociological theory of crime is the “routine activities” approach (Cohen and Felson, 1979). The premise of this ecological theory is that criminal events result from likely offenders,
Experiements in Polic Discretion: Scientific Boon or Dangerous Knowledge?
Scientific experimentation holds the potential for revolutionizing police discretion.2 It has already begun to erode the ignorance police have of the consequences of their actions after they leave an
The Diffusion of Computerized Crime Mapping in Policing: Linking Research and Practice
In this paper we examine the diffusion of computerized crime mapping drawing upon a more general approach to the ‘diffusion of innovations’ pioneered by Everett Rogers in 1995. We use data from the
Attacking Crime: Police and Crime Control
Growing experimental evidence suggests police actions can reduce crime, increase it, or make no difference, depending on a wide range of conditions. Growing epidemiological evidence suggests police
Crime, policing and social order: on the expressive nature of public confidence in policing.
Drawing on data from the 2003/2004 British Crime Survey and the 2006/2007 London Metropolitan Police Safer Neighbourhoods Survey, this paper suggests that people think about their local police in ways less to do with the risk of victimization and more toDo with judgments of social cohesion and moral consensus.
Hot spots policing effects on crime
This Campbell systematic review examines the effects of focusing police crime prevention efforts on crime ‘hot spots’, and whether focused police actions at specific locations result in crime