A pearl of knowledge

[21] 14 April: Neighbourhood policing: Impact and implementation, a rapid evidence assessment

Beste collega´s van binnen en buiten het ministerie van Justitie & Veiligheid,

Ik hoop dat jullie ondanks de nieuwe werkelijkheid toch een fijne Pasen hebben gehad. Vanochtend weer een nieuwe ´kennisparel´. Dit keer over ´Community Policing / Neighbourhood Policing´. In Nederland ook wel bekend onder verschillende concepten zoals Wijkteams / Gebiedsgebonden Politiewerk / Wijkagenten. De ontwikkeling van dit concept in Nederland is in 2017 beschreven in een verschenen rapport in opdracht van het WODC:

In het Verenigd Koninkrijk heeft de College of Policing een zogenaamde rapid evidence assessment (REA) vervaardigd waarin een oordeel wordt gegeven over de effectiviteit van het concept van ´Community Policing / Neighbourhood Policing´. Bijgesloten rapport is de uitkomst van deze REA, de samenvatting is hieronder te lezen. Voor de geïnteresseerde lezer heb ik de inhoud van het rapport in bijgesloten PowerPoint weergegeven. En wanneer je echt een liefhebber bent, dan verwijs ik je naar een zogenaamde geannoteerd overzicht van recent verschenen studies rond het concept:


Colover, Sarah & Paul Quinton (2018). Neighbourhood policing: Impact and implementation, summary findings from a rapid evidence assessment. Ryton-on-Dunsmore: UK College of Policing.


This report summarises the research evidence that has underpinned the development of national guidelines on neighbourhood policing. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Service recommended that the College of Policing develop these guidelines, following concerns it had raised about the continued erosion of local policing and the need for many forces to take urgent action to maintain a proactive and preventative approach to policing. The guidelines were developed by a committee of practitioners, subject matter experts and academics, drawing on the best available evidence. The main sources of evidence the College Guideline Committee considered were the findings of two rapid evidence assessments (REAs), which sought to answer the following questions: REA1 – what constitutes effective neighbourhood policing? REA2 – what acts as a facilitator or barrier to successful implementation of neighbourhood policing?

REA1 was not only concerned with exploring the effectiveness of neighbourhood policing. It also outlined what was thought to have been important when neighbourhood policing had a positive impact. The REA used a broad definition of ‘neighbourhood policing’, concentrating on initiatives that variously involved foot patrol, community engagement, problem-solving and partnership working in some combination. Other policing strategies were regarded as being in scope if they were felt to be particularly suited to integration with neighbourhood policing (for example, hot spots policing, focused deterrence policing and procedural justice). Only systematic reviews and other REAs were included in the REA. Relevant primary studies from systematic reviews were also separately included because they tended to describe implementation of the initiatives in more detail.

By contrast, REA2 was broader in that it sought to document a comprehensive range of implementation issues with neighbourhood policing. It therefore included a much wider range of methods, including quantitative, qualitative and mixed-method studies. REA2 used the same broad definition of ‘neighbourhood policing’ as before, but concentrated on the relevance of findings on implementation in the studies. It sought to: look at how the defining features of neighbourhood policing had been implemented; identify what helped and hindered; explore whether there were any special considerations in particular contexts (for example, in tackling antisocial behaviour, crime or terrorism). As such, REA2 aimed to draw out findings that would provide the basis for practical advice to practitioners who were supporting the delivery of neighbourhood policing.

Systematic review evidence has shown that, overall and across a range of different places, neighbourhood policing has been effective at: reducing public perceptions of disorder; increasing trust and confidence in the police; increasing the perceived legitimacy of the police. Neighbourhood policing pilots in the UK were found to reduce victimisation and have a sustained impact across a range of outcomes. Studies have highlighted the following as the effective elements of neighbourhood policing: targeted foot patrol, community engagement and problem solving delivered in combination at a local level; community and partner involvement in problem solving; strong governance, accountability and support to maintain a focus on delivery and address known problems with implementation.

Hopelijk biedt deze ´kennisparel´ weer evidentie voor de keuze voor meer effectief (politiebeleid). Op naar de volgende parel, en blijf gezond, optimistisch en geduldig.