The Western Australia (WA) Police established its Evidence Based Policing Division (EBPD) in January 2015, as part of the Agency’s Frontline 2020 reform program. One of the key drivers of Frontline 2020 is to reduce demand on policing services, to which EBPD contributes through analysing research to identify, implement and evaluate policing strategies to understand what works, what doesn’t work and what is promising.

EBPD develops practises targeting those areas and people responsible for the most harm in Western Australian communities. Methods are tested and tracked with the aim of determining the most suitable options for achieving the best possible outcomes.

Critical Success Factors

Achieving a cultural shift by winning the hearts and minds of WA Police personnel. Leadership alignment, engagement and sponsorship. Developing collaborative relationships with internal and external partners.
Linking the Targeting, Testing and Tracking elements of EBP to all police practice. Consistent and timely access, collection, recording, analysis and management of crime data. Communicating outcomes and lessons learned – contributing to the body of knowledge.

An experiment targeting areas of crime and disorder, utilising sudden and dramatic increases in police officer presence, sanctions and threats of apprehension either for specific offences or for all offences in specific places.

Operation Turning Point

As an alternative to prosecution and with the intention of deterring future offending, this experiment compares the relative effectiveness and cost benefit of low harm offenders entering into a contract combining deferred prosecution with an agreed set of conditions.

Body Worn Video (BWV)
An experiment to evaluate the possible introduction of BWV within the WA Police.  It will test the effect BWV has on crime reduction, officer safety and Use of Force incidents.

Operation Communique
A low cost, low resource experiment targeting ‘at risk’ drivers. Evaluation will measure the effect of sending personal messages urging these drivers to modify behaviours identified as being the major causal factors in fatal and serious crashes on Western Australian roads.

Learning, Training & Capability Framework
A ‘cradle to grave’ approach to embedding the philosophy and practice of EBP within the WAPolice. This requires a shift in culture and an up-skilling of the workforce through training, together with partnering and working collaboratively with academic institutions.

Local Experiments
A process to enable WA Police personnel to design and conduct smaller, low cost experiments that evaluate police strategies and practices at a local level using the Targeting, Testing and Tracking methodology.

Domestic Violence
Data analysis of 35,000 offenders has identified 2% are responsible for 50% of reported domestic violence related harm in the last five years. This group, known as the ‘power few’, will be the subject of a future experiment designed to minimise the impact or potential harm to victims of domestic violence.

Restorative Justice (RJ) Conferencing
Best described as a diversionary measure, RJ focuses on the rehabilitation of offenders and reduction of the ongoing impact of crime on victims, through a reconciliatory process that includes all stakeholders.

Operation Pinpoint
Targeting resources to small geographic areas or places, where crime is concentrated and so frequent that it is highly predictable (hot spots). Hot spot policing strategies focus resources in these areas.

Near Repeat Burglary
Residential properties close to a burgled property in both distance and time are at increased risk of also being burgled. Targeting analysis in Perth reveals some properties are 11 times more likely to be burgled if their neighbours were. International studies have identified communicating the increased risk of burglary to neighbours has been effective in countering this issue.

Crime Harm Index(CHI)
A reference list of crime types ranked according to their relative harm. The list could ultimately form a benchmark for resourcing and deployment decisions, internal and external performance measurement and budgetary allocation.

Operation Contact
An experiment to identify the effectiveness of current bail curfew check processes in terms of deterring re-offending. It will also identify the effectiveness of contacting intelligence-led targets in disrupting ongoing offending.

For further information on WA Police EBP projects and initiatives please email