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welcome to the 2020 online sebp conference

Please note: All views expressed are those of the speaker and do not necessarily represent the opinion of any police service.

Met Commander, Chair of the Society of Evidence Based Policing

Alex Murray

Alex Murray is Commander for Central Specialist Crime in the Metropolitan Police, UK.

He was previously the T/Assistant Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, UK.

Welcome to the online SEBP conference 2020

Watch Alex Murray's welcome video to the 2020 SEBP conference (above). 

Alex talks about the results some forces had using EBP, how the withdrawal of policing caused a 5-fold increase in homicides in Brazil, how response policing increases detections, and how he believes we should approach violence.


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Jon Bannister

Professor, Manchester Metropolitan University

Jon Bannister FAcSS FRSA is Professor of Criminology in the Department of Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University, where he founded and directs the Manchester Metropolitan Crime and Well-Being Big Data Centre (BDC), which comprises a multi-disciplinary team with expertise in criminology, policing, urban studies, advanced quantitative methods, data science and evaluation methodologies. The BDC is a strategic research partner of Greater Manchester Police and the Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit, as well as working closely with multiple other forces across the UK.  He is Editor-in-Chief of Urban Studies, a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Chinese Academy of Science (Beijing) and a Visiting Professor at Wuhan University.

Professor Bannister's talk - main points:

  • The extent of, and longer-term trends in, knife crime

  • The (changing) nature of knife crime

  • Knife crime hotspots cluster on the town and city centre locations in GM, though they vary by offence type.

  • Reflecting what is well known nationally, knife crime offenders in GM are predominantly male and young, with the 15-19 years old age group accounting for 25% of all known offenders in 2018. Significantly, this represents a 5% increase on 2015 – knife crime offenders are getting younger!

  • Vulnerabilities differ by offence type. For serious violence, for example, alcohol misuse can be identified in 37% of cases, mental ill health in 3% of cases and both in 4% of cases.

  • The research demonstrates the potential and limitations of automated knife crime counting procedures. It is possible to derive a more nuanced picture of knife crime from data routinely captured by the police – the where, when and whom.

Data as an Asset in the Fight Against Knife Crime

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Nick Morgan

Violent Crime Researcher, Home Office

Nick Morgan heads up the Serious Violence Analysis Team in the Home Office and was the lead analyst on the Serious Violence Strategy. He has produced several Home Office research reports on crime trends which are published on the government’s website. These have been presented at several conferences including the Stockholm Criminology Symposium and the British Society of Criminology conference. He has also collaborated with academics on papers in published journals, including the Journal of Criminal Justice and Journal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology.

In his talk, Nick explores the reasons why we have seen such sharp swings in homicide rates in England and Wales over the last 40 years and how we can start to think about devising an evidence-based plan to consistently reduce homicide.

Trends in Homicide & our Response


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Tom Kirchmaier

Director Policing and Crime, Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics.

Professor Kirchmaier is the Director of the Crime and Policing programme at the Centre for Economic Performance, and Professor of Risk at the Copenhagen Business School. His interest is large-scale quantitative data analysis. He works very closely with all urban police forces (Met, GMP, WMP), as well as most other forces on the full spectrum of questions on policing and crime. Last year, he developed for and with the Home Office, an evaluation tool of police (Randomised Control) Trials, and previously worked on demand prediction work for HMICFRS and the NCA, amongst others.

Professor Kirchmaier's talk covers the following:

  • In London, Knife Crime with injury has now been falling for over two years, and is back at pre-crisis levels.

  • We show that gangs are driving the knife crime problem, and hypothesise that technological changes (consumers of drugs buy them online) are in part behind this rise in knife crime.

  • Gangs form in areas with higher levels of deprivation, higher % of lone parents, higher levels of social housing

  • Poverty is persistent, major re-distributive policies have impacted the evolution of cities (and the criminal activities that take place in them)

  • Gangs have a positive effect on knife crime. We estimate that an additional gang in an area increases knife crime between 15% and 35%

  • The issue is multi-faceted and the current rising trend is likely the result of changes in technology (affecting drug markets), and a lasting effect of austerity

Gangs, Drugs & Knife Crime in London

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Nick Dale

Superintendent, West Midlands Police

Nick Dale joined West Midlands Police in 2001 and has worked in a variety of roles, most latterly in investigations, where he has led investigations into serious organised acquisitive crime, serious violence and modern slavery, and also as the head of the Organised Crime and Gangs Team for Birmingham. Following a short stint as Deputy Head of Intelligence for the West Midlands Counter-Terrorism Unit, he was promoted to Temporary Superintendent in 2019 and given the role of Senior Responsible Owner for the National Data Analytics Solution.

This presentation covers:

“In God we trust. All others must bring data.” (W. Edwards Deming).


In this presentation we cover:

Data Science – setting the foundations for advanced data analytics. An explanation of the cloud architecture, tools, data model, data science and visualisation techniques required to generate usable insights from raw force data from multiple source systems.


Use case explanation and update. The Modern Slavery use case shows the power of natural language processing (NLP) and network analysis to understand a key threat in a completely new way. The Most Serious Violence use case adds behavioural analysis to seek to identify those who present the most risk of committing an offence of serious violence in the future – it also demonstrates the difficulty of using police data for a “predictive” model and the need to re-iterate a model when things go wrong. Two new use cases – Organised Exploitation and Firearms – show the benefit of identifying data science techniques developed in one use case, and further developing the for use in new areas of business.

NDAS - National Data Analysis Solution

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Iain Agar

Force Performance Analyst, 

Essex Police

Iain Agar was a crime analyst working in London Community Safety Partnerships and participated in problem solving analysis training with the Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science at University College London.

In 2013 and 2015, problem-solving projects developed using his work were selected as overall winners of the Herman Goldstein Problem Oriented Policing awards, youth robbery and managing violence in night time economies.


Iain also worked as an intelligence analyst at Essex County Council and with the Essex Centre for Data Analytics where he developed an interest and subsequent skills using Data Science methods, delivering two projects which involved sharing and merging data across multiple stakeholders for the purpose of risk stratification. Currently, he is a force performance analyst at Essex Police within a special projects team. He has particular interests in the criminology of places, social network analysis, problem oriented and evidence based policing.

Prospective identification of knife offenders 


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Professor of Criminology, University of Hull

Iain Brennan

Professor Brennan is a psychologist who moved into the area of criminology via a PhD in public health.


He continues to integrate these disciplines in his three main areas of research: the prevention of weapon use; the policing of domestic abuse; and the diversion of offenders from the criminal justice system.


His work has featured in leading journals including the British Medical Journal, British Journal of Criminology and Addiction as well as national and international policy documents.

Professor Brennan's talk on Weapon-carrying and preparedness for adversity: Lessons from natural disasters - main points

 - Who carries weapons and why?

​ - The evidence we have can’t really explain weapon-carrying       and doesn’t help us predict who will be carrying weapons next   year

- Rational and irrational thinking that affects how people think about disaster

- The role of fear, direct experience and the strong evidence that having trust in authority/experts makes people more aware of their own vulnerability, but (ironically) less prepared

- The parallels between preparation for disaster and preparation for violent encounters

- Competing explanations for weapon-carrying: (1) fear and (2) necessity

​- Fear plays little role in weapon-carrying, but violence and trust in the police are hugely important 

- Practical insights: What does this mean for prevention? 

Weapon-carrying and preparedness for adversity

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Professor of Criminal Justice, Temple University, Philadelphia

Jerry Ratcliffe

Jerry Ratcliffe is a former British police officer, college professor, and host of the Reducing Crime podcast. He works with police agencies around the world on crime reduction and criminal intelligence strategy. After an ice-climbing accident ended a decade-long career with London’s Metropolitan Police, he earned a first class honors degree and a PhD from the University of Nottingham. He has published over 90 research articles and nine books, including most recently “Reducing Crime: A Companion for Police Leaders.” Ratcliffe has been a research adviser to the FBI and the Philadelphia Police Commissioner, an instructor for the ATF intelligence academy, and he is a member of the FBI Law Enforcement Education and Training Council. He is a professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Temple University in Philadelphia, USA.

Professor Ratcliffe's talk,

for which he was interviewed by Alex Murray, includes the following: 

- How far ahead the medical field is 

- How we can make up for shortages in our evidence base

- Why academics can't be purists when wanting to work with 

the police

- We bring more science into policing when we stop doing the

things that don't work

Strategies for evidence-based


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Professor Emeritus of Criminology at the University of Cambridge

Lawrence Sherman

Professor Sherman is the Director of the Cambridge Centre for Evidence-Based Policing and the Wolfson Professor of Criminology Emeritus at the University of Cambridge, where he is also past Director (2012–2017) of the Institute of Criminology. Currently serving as Director of the Institute’s Jerry Lee Centre of Experimental Criminology, his 1998 Police Foundation Lecture on ‘Evidence-Based Policing’ is widely recognised as the foundation of a global movement generating professional societies for evidence-based policing in the UK, Australia-New Zealand, Canada and the US, now with over 5,000 members. Professor Sherman has served as the Honorary President of the Society of Evidence-Based Policing (UK) since its formation in 2010, and is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Cambridge Journal of Evidence-Based Policing launched in 2017. He is also Director of the Cambridge Police Executive Programme, offering a part-time Master’s degree in Applied Criminology and Police Management at the University of Cambridge with over 170 students from ten countries.  

In this talk, Professor Sherman suggests how we could use data to identify police officers who are at greatest risk of killing someone in advance.

Heroes and Heartaches in Evidence-Based Policing - Policing Rogue Cops

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Creator of Police Science Dr, an online resource to help forces build up EBP skills in-house

Susanne Knabe-Nicol

Dr Susanne Knabe-Nicol has worked in UK policing for over a decade and set up Police Science Dr (formerly known as EBP Doctor) for two major purposes: 1. To ensure that the frontline police practitioners, who are actually doing the policing, can access relevant research findings through videos she publishes on Police Science Dr, and 2. To help build a sustainable EBP skills base from within police agencies.

Her short talk announces the release of a free introductory EBP course accessible to all on

Free EBP course launches at Virtual Conference


Listen as a podcast:

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