Experiments in policing: The challenge of context

Ben Bradford, Chris Giacomantonio, Sarah MacQueen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper considers the effect of organizational context, alongside wider political factors, on the ability of police/academic partnerships to ‘deliver’ experimental studies in policing. Comparing and contrasting across two recent studies, the Making and Breaking Barriers research project on mounted police, and the Scottish Community Engagement Trial (ScotCET), the paper draws on the experience of the authors and their police partners in designing, implementing and interpreting the research, with a particular focus on relational factors and how these shaped the research process. The mechanics of designing and delivering a policing experiment cannot work without attending to the nature of police/researcher partnership, the challenges posed by police cultures and other organizational factors, and the environment within which the study is occurring. There is a strong need for academic/police partnerships to consider experimental research projects within their wider social, economic and political contexts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Policing Studies
Issue numberSpecial Issue
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2018


  • justice
  • research
  • trust
  • implementing
  • methods
  • organizational
  • experimental


Dive into the research topics of 'Experiments in policing: The challenge of context'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this