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Exploring evidence-based policing
Exploring evidence-based policing

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5.3 Professional fads and fashions

Most professions witness trends in the popularity of particular ideas which come and go over time. These appear simple to understand and implement, and they often promise to deliver a specific set of outcomes using an equally specific package of tools or interventions. It is this apparently straightforward ‘cause effect’ relationship, combined with their ‘cutting edge’ newness which appeals to practitioners, particularly those looking for a quick fix and/or career enhancement. Their reassuring simplicity of use also helps contain anxieties about the uncertainties of professional decision making, and vagaries of organisational and wider social processes.

This has also been found in a policing context, where one researcher (Lumsden, 2016) has noted that evidence-based policing has often been seen as a buzzword, perhaps in part because it is not only poorly understood but also poorly applied in practice.