Is performance management in the Metropolitan Police Service evidence-led? an exploration of the territorial policing ‘CrimeFighters’ programme

Reddin, Colleen Elizabeth (2013) Is performance management in the Metropolitan Police Service evidence-led? an exploration of the territorial policing ‘CrimeFighters’ programme. MA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    This study asks 'Is performance management in the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) evidence-led?' There is a current move to make policing evidence-based (Sherman, 1998; May, 2012a) and the MPS has recently launched its new Evidence-Based Policing (EBP) programme. In January 2012 the MPS Territorial Policing (TP) department also launched its new 'CrimeFighters' performance management programme. This paper aims to bring these two programmes together and explore the extent to which CrimeFighters is evidence-led, specifically testing the EBP objective - 'The Met's approach to performance will draw on the best evidence and research available to improve its own practice' (Stanko, 2012a). The study reviews the relevant literature around performance management and draws on findings from the New York model of Compstat. Furthermore, it captures opinions and attitudes around the use of evidence and seeks to identify any negative consequences of performance management (see Loveday, 2006; Guilfoyle, 2012).
    The study uses a mixed methods approach including a survey of 78 senior managers, one observation of a TP CrimeFighters meeting and 7 interviews with Borough Commanders, Evidence and Performance team professionals and the TP Senior Leadership Team. A number of themes were identified and there are three key findings from this research. Firstly, it was found CrimeFighters may be missing opportunities for problem solving and learning, resonating with findings from the Compstat literature (e.g. Kelling & Sousa, 2001). Secondly, whilst there is awareness and support for EBP, opportunities remain to improve the use of evidence in CrimeFighters. A strong reliance on professional experience over evidence was identified. Thirdly, negative consequences of performance management were identified including pressure on Borough Commanders and a perceived lack of help.
    Overall, the research suggests that opportunities remain for TP CrimeFighters to become more evidence-led. The awareness and recognition of the use of evidence presents an opportunity for the EBP paradigm to grow. However, barriers to achieving this were identified. This paper has important implications for the progress of the EBP programme within the MPS and the wider policy expectation that forces will embed evidence (May, 2012b). This study also contributes to the ongoing debate around whether a Compstat approach to managing performance reinforces a traditional hierarchical model of policing rather than its potential to enable problem solving (Weisburd et al., 2003, p.450).

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2013 10:26
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:31

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