Mayor and Met to launch London's first police research institute

11 November 2015

The first research centre to be focused on meeting the policing challenges faced by global cities is to be set up at University College London. 

Plans for the new independent Institute for Global City Policing have been announced today by the Mayor of London’s Office for Policing And Crime and the Metropolitan Police. The new centre will give London’s police chiefs a firm base of proper academic research akin to other professions such as law and medicine.

As London continues to grow, amidst a changing criminal landscape, and as public safety budgets are squeezed, it is imperative that the Met is able to call on the best possible research to help target resources as effectively and efficiently as possible. The new Institute will build on the relationship between London’s police force and academia and enable far more rigorous and independent investigation into the issues facing London from the precursors of knife crime, to the efficacy of stop and search.  It is hoped the new analysis will help inform the best and most cost effective decisions for example, by identifying the key drivers of crime or by demonstrating which tactics are most successful in a city like London, whilst maintaining the highest standards of public safety.

The Institute will bring together the world’s leading experts in policing and crime research and offer unprecedented access to the Met’s crime and policing data. Its work programme will be agreed jointly by MOPAC, the Met, and university partners, in consultation with an international advisory group.  It is expected to focus on complex challenges unique to large and rapidly growing global cities from police tactics to organised criminal networks, gangs, counter-terrorism, and cyber-crime.

Stephen Greenhalgh, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, said: “Policing a growing and changing global city like London is a unique challenge, and this new Institute will help ensure we are equipped to meet it. With unprecedented access to London’s policing data, this new partnership will allow the Met to call upon the expertise of the world’s leading academics in keeping Londoners safe and crime off our streets.”

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe QPM, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, said: "I'm delighted that the institute will be up and running very soon. The police need the same kind of academic knowledge base as engineering, medicine or law. It is a great privilege to keep over 60 million people safe. We always need help in achieving that aim."

Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research), said: "I am delighted that we are able to work in partnership with the Met Police and MOPAC on this new institute. UCL is London’s Global University, so addressing the challenges facing global cities is one of our central goals. I am confident that our relationships with policing will prove as positive for both parties as the interactions between academia and medicine have done, with world-leading research and the provision of high-quality public services supporting and informing each other."

The new Institute will open early next year.

Notes to editors

  • The new Institute will have full academic independence and will draw on a wide range of disciplines - from Criminology, Sociology and Psychology to Geography, Economics, Management or Computer Science. To complement existing initiatives led by the College of Policing, the Institute is modelled on the Scottish Institute for Policing Research. By concentrating on London issues and those specific to global city policing, the Institute will contribute knowledge and learning to the College of Policing’s wide-ranging, national focus. 
  • The new Institute builds on the existing links between academia and the Met. There are over 100 projects currently running, including a data sharing agreement with the Jill Dando Institute at UCL and formal agreements with the Open University and City University.
  • University College London is one the highest ranking universities in the world with extensive national and international academic networks. It has been selected to host the new Institute following a competitive bidding process.
  • MOPAC’s Evidence and Insight Team is known internationally for its work on evidence based policing and research. MOPAC has led the way in data transparency through the publication of a range of interactive data dashboards which allow practitioners and public to view and understand crime and policing data in an accessible way. These dashboards are available to view on MOPAC’s website www.london.gov.uk/MOPAC
  • In July, MOPAC, in partnership with the University of Queensland and the College of Policing, launched the world’s first Global Policing Database, a searchable online bank of information for practitioners and academics. The available research covers the entire spectrum of policing and community safety analysis. The database will eventually hold up to 5,000 case studies from around the world, reaching back over 65 years. The Database can be accessed here: http://www.gpd.uq.edu.au/search.php