Public Understanding and Perceptions of How Research Should Influence Policing



Enventure Research was appointed by Liverpool University (working as part of the N8 Policing Research Partnership (N8 PRP) to undertake a survey exploring public perceptions of the relationships between universities and the police.


The N8 PRP was launched at the end of 2013 to enable and foster research collaborations to help address the problems of policing in the 21st century and achieve international excellence in policing research and impact. The Partnership is conducted through the N8 Research Partnership, an established collaboration between the eight most research-intensive universities in the North of England (Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York). The aim of the N8 PRP is to establish and formalise a regional network of research and innovation in policing. It provides a platform for collaborations between universities, Police and Crime Commissioners, the government, police forces and other partners working in policing policy, governance and practice.


The Partnership is currently in the process of developing a new programme for research and knowledge sharing which will play a key role in informing future policing policy. This will enable academics and the police to take a major step forward in developing and testing innovating approaches to policing and crime reduction. The five year project aims to strengthen the evidence base upon which policing policy, practice and learning and developed. It is anticipated that this initiative will make an important contribution to innovation and the utilisation of research in advancing the professionalisation of policing.


As part of this programme of research, a survey was developed in partnership between Enventure Research and Liverpool University to explore a number of key topics, including interest in police matters, what is most important to the public with regard to police matters, and the role of university researchers in studying and producing knowledge related to the police.


The survey was administered on street by experienced IQCS (Interviewer Quality Control Scheme) accredited interviewers in 22 different sampling points representing 11 regions across the North of England. At least 200 interviews were completed in each region, with quotas set on gender, age, ethnicity and lifestage to ensure that those interviewed were broadly representative of each area. The questionnaire took approximately five minutes to administer and was piloted both internally and with a small number of respondents to ensure it was fit for purpose before fieldwork commenced.


In total, 2,218 interviews were conducted with members of the public. Once the fieldwork was completed, Enventure Research undertook detailed analysis of the survey results, including an exploration of the differences by demographic subgroups such as age, gender and sampling area. The findings were presented to Liverpool University in a comprehensive research report and will be used to support the activities and future direction of the N8 PRP initiative.




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