Evidence-based policing helps the police find out criminals and the way in which the crime was committed. It is a way to provide the best research on the outcomes of crimes so that to give the right guidelines to officers. It makes a point on the facts and opinions which appear in the course of the criminal investigation. However, a scientific premise in evidence-based policing is the most important as it discovers an independent insight into the state of crime and its evaluation from the beginning up to the end. Thus, a summary as well advantages and disadvantages of evidence-based policing are under special discussion in this paper.
First of all, it is vital to mention the gist of evidence-based policing. It is an important mechanism to increase overall effectiveness of the investigation as it deals with the causative-consecutive line of events and outcomes thereafter. In fact, it is a paramount tool to weigh all pros and cons since the very start of the investigation. One of the most eminent persons to highlight the significance of evidence-based policing is Lawrence Sherman who put special emphasis on the significance of this field of work within the overall criminal investigation. Among other things, he outlines the need for evidence-based medicine and, thus, states that “the basic premise of evidence-based practice is that we are entitled to our own opinions, but not to our own facts…our own facts or our own beliefs about the way things should be done often turnout wrong” (Cited in Welsh & Farrington, 2012, p. 467).
Needless to say, the scientific research is the constituent of the evidence-based policing techniques. It grounds on it and derives from it. Based on what evidence-based policing says about this or that situation, officers and agents are able to make correct decisions as of what should be done next. This is why evidence-based policing is a part of the overall analysis of a particular case. However, one should not underestimate the significant place of evidence-based policing in terms of the police practices.
The myriad of the best techniques of investigation are to be taken into account by the police officers so that to find out which one works best. It is necessary to be mature and quite sensitive to these matters in order to gain momentum since the very start of investigation. Moreover, evidence-based policing is closely related to social matters within the society as it copes with the public opinion and other features to be well spread over the society. Bueermann (2012) admits the following idea, namely: “Evidence-based policing offers a practical solution to the need to balance public safety, community service needs, available funds and taxpayer expectations” (13). Hereby, it is a smart solution for the sake of the overall safety shared within the society.
Now, it is about time to lay emphasis on advantages and disadvantages. First of all, evidence-based policing is well appreciated and used for its objectivity as its main concern is the scientific research. People dealing with this method are usually well aware of the algorithm of actions keeping in mind the main evidences in hand. It is quite convenient for them as “evidence-based policing offers a framework for developing a coherent approach through the application of sound scientific concepts and standards” (Bueermann, 2012, p. 13). Hereby, a precise investigation gets even clearer when a scientific approach is taken.
Second, it is structured so that to help police officers figure out the right persons referred to a crime. Evidences are the main arguments so that to track an exact criminal and other persons who might have had a part in it. Third, evidence-based policing saves time until the crime is fully investigated. Fourth, this method helps police decrease the crime rate nationwide (Sims, 2009). It is structured in a way to enable the right flow of thoughts and approaches so that law enforcers could make a right decision.
Talking about disadvantages of evidence-based policing, it is vital to point out that this method is based solely on the evidence, but not on people’s opinions. Sims (2009) states that “when people voice their opinion, it should be heard and taken into consideration, when it is relevant at that point in time” (p. 1). Definitely, there is a lack of opinionated people working in the police who may simply disregard some opinions from outside. Crimes and cases in today’s police practices are so sophisticated that officers should add some more other techniques and approaches so that to get a desired result.
Two examples of evidence-based policing in which this technique was fully utilized are breaking-and-entering offence of a private property and slaughter. The first one illustrates that even the trickiest robbers can be detected and noticed through a sort of evidences. First one is the breakage of the lock or a window. Second one is the evidence taken from the video monitoring devices across the area. It would be enough to start investigation immediately with a possibility of the preliminary action. The second example is more related to the forensics expertise, namely: a type of death, a kind of weapon used to murder a person, bruises, fingerprints, etc. Furthermore, in both cases evidences given by people who witnessed the crime will be also taken into consideration for a better picture of the situation and a person of a criminal. All in all, evidence-based policing cannot be ignored or somehow reduced in its strategic importance for current police practices.