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& Technology
in Policing


The 'science estate' of policing is spread across many organisations with different responsibilities and lines of governance.

As our strategy identifies, this complexity brigades as:

  1. Coordination Committee innovation activity that addresses the needs identified by policing’s national leads in all areas of delivery;
  2. National enablers that deliver S&T capabilities in their priority area; and,
  3. Force S&T programmes that see local innovators address the needs of their force.

The Chief Scientific Adviser oversees this system, within the following governance structure.

The National Research and Innovation Network

…deliver locally while coordinating nationally.

Each force has an identified Research and Innovation Lead, who is a member of a regional committee (the 43 police forces of England and Wales are divided into 9 regions). A representative from each region represents their region on the National Science and Innovation Board. This coordinating network provides the voice of priorities and scrutiny for each force and region. They can (and should) challenge on delivery and raise concerns and opportunities. They come together in the National Board to manage the risk register and stop/change direction on projects if milestones are not met. The Board is uniquely positioned to identify common interest across regions and ensure join-up with partners (e.g., where joint investment opportunities are significant).

Oversight and Assurance

The day-to-day governance provided by the OPCSA and the National Board is overseen by internal Chief Officers and by an independent Council.

Chief Constables’ Council

Chief Constables' Council is the national decision-making body within policing, which brings together Chief Officers from the 43 forces of England and Wales, Police Scotland, PSNI, territorial forces, British Transport Police, Ministry of Defence Police, the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, the National Crime Agency and the College of Policing. The Council receives updates on progress and has the authority to change or stop work.

Police Science Council

The Police Science Council provides independent challenge and oversight of Police Science & Technology (S&T), covering issues such as the developing system and strategic approach, to targeted advice on individual projects. The independent committee comprises world-leading science and technology expertise, with representatives from across academia and industry. The Council reports on the progress of the activity of the Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser for Policing annually.