Policing for impact: Is South Africa ready for Evidence-Based Policing?

  • Gareth Newham Institute for Security Studies
  • Brian Rappert Department of Sociology, Philosophy, and Anthropology University of Exeter Exeter EX4 4RJ United Kingdom http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6883-531X


The prospect that research can improve the impact of policing operations and internal organisational efficiencies has been a source of promise and frustration for decades.  It may seem obvious to many that research should be able to assist with better policing strategies and tactics by providing evidence as to what does or does not work. Realizing this potential, however, it is not straightforward. The complexities of applying scientific research methods to what is often the messy business of policing often does not result in clear or consistent findings. This article reflects on Evidence-Based Policing (EBP) and its challenges in relation to the establishment of the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) first ever National Research Division.

Research articles