Institute for Global City Policing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

Reference code: 
DMPCD 2016 13
Date signed: 
18 February 2016
Authorisation name: 
Stephen Greenhalgh (past staff), Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime

Executive summary

As per Decision 2015 119, approved on 15.10.15, this paper requests the approval of the release of funds to University College London (UCL) to establish the Institute for Global City Policing, and the subsequent transfer of £500,000 to UCL, following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between MOPAC, the MPS and University College London.


The DMPC approves the transfer of the approved grant of £500,000 to UCL to establish the Institute for Global City Policing, when the MoU (attached) between MOPAC, the MPS and UCL is signed by all three parties.

Non-confidential facts and advice to the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC)

1.    Introduction and background

1.1.    By promoting professional excellence and evidence based practices, the Institute for Global City Policing (“the Institute”) is a key part of the Mayor’s ambition to make London the safest global city.  The Institute will be an independent research organisation based at UCL, operating as a hub of a collaborative network of universities that will deliver robust, high-quality research, promote knowledge transfer and provide postgraduate and professional training relevant to global city policing in London.  The Institute would be the first open and formal research partnership between the MPS and academia and will complement many existing initiatives being led by the College of Policing.  

1.2.    The benefits of the Institute include enabling formalised and sustained engagement between police practioners and academics, academic work that has practical benefits for policing, increased understanding of successful outcomes for London as a global city, building the evidence base around recognised best practice and using what works adapted for an evolving global city and enabled evidence-based and research-informed decision-making at operational, policy and strategic levels of policing.

 1.3   The Institute will benefit MOPAC/MPS, the academic community and London through:

●    Enabling formalised and sustained engagement between police practitioners and academics, with work that has practical benefits for the policing service, whilst also contributing to academic evidence 

●    Aiding our understanding of successful outcomes for London as a global city and for Londoners

●    Building the evidence base around recognised best practice and using what works adapted for a continuous, evolving global city

●    Establishing London as a real-life laboratory for testing policing interventions and knowledge transfer generating best practice for policing in a global city 

Specific benefits to MOPAC / MPS include:

●    A raised profile as recognised global leaders in evidence based policing / evidence based policy-making 

●    An uplift in craft based skills and resources for better policing in London and an ability to call on a diverse range of academic skills for advice and expertise

●    Enabled evidence-based and research-informed decision-making at operational, policy and strategic level of policing

●    Embedding an independent academic perspective within corporate policy and training  

●    A unique way to develop MPS and MOPAC staff in academic ways of working and using evidence based approaches, thereby contributing to the development of ‘policing’ as a profession 


Benefits to academic partners would include:

•    A centre for excellence for high quality collaborative learning about global city policing

•    Access to the Metropolitan Police Service as a research site, and unrivalled access to crime and policing data, and the opportunity to develop extensive key policing networks

•    Unique insights into and understanding of practical issues in policing, grounding funding applications in a vibrant, relevant context

•    An ability to align research to practitioner needs and knowledge gaps, thereby driving real and direct impact of research to policy and best practice

•    Being part of a multi-disciplinary / multi-faculty university collaboration, optimising the range of expertise across universities, framed around learning about Global Cities and Global City Policing

•    A recognised relationship with the London Mayor’s Office, and other such partnerships with the College of Policing (see attached Prospectus inviting universities to tender for the host institution).


2.    Commissioning Process

2.1.    MOPAC managed a competitive tender process to recruit the host institution.  It also solicited expressions of interest from universities to be linked to the Institute (May 2015).

2.2.    Sifting of applicants took place in July 2015.  Interviews were held in late July 2015.

2.3.    University College London (UCL) has been selected to be the host of the Institute.  Through the creation of the Institute, UCL will host the Institute itself, employ under its own governance structure its Director at the Professorship level, and agree with MOPAC and MPS key research priorities that are aligned with MPS objectives.  The Institute will assist the MPS in developing evidence based policies and raise the profile of the MPS and MOPAC as leaders in global city policing. 


3.    Financial Comments

3.1.    The MPS has approved a seed-funding commitment of £500,000 to be funded from the Major Change Fund.

3.2.    As outlined in UCL’s proposal, they intend to contribute to the Institute by covering the salary shortfall for the Chair and half-time administrator for the first 5 years and fund the positions in full following this time, provide the necessary office accommodation and computer staff, and appoint a permanent Professor to lead the Institute.

3.3.    The approach will allow the MPS to harness much greater academic support aligned to MPS priorities than currently available.  This expansion in research cannot be achieved in MPS alone and will increase the breadth of intelligence and best practices applied to fighting crime, leading to better outcomes for the public.  It is anticipated that for the £500,000 grant, the access to a professor and the wide range of research students will have a value in the region of £250,000 yearly.

4.    Legal Comments

4.1.    This proposal has been discussed at the MPS Management Board. The MPS confirmed that the funding for the Institute will come from the Major Change Fund which Robin Wilkinson is the budget holder for.
4.2.    The final Memorandum of Understanding will have been reviewed and approved by the legal teams at MOPAC, the MPS and UCL.


5.    Equality Comments

5.1.    There are no direct equality and diversity implications arising from this proposal.

5.2.    The establishment of the Institute will increase international multi-agency partnership cooperation and learning; undoubtedly facilitating the development of a range of policing areas with an equality dimension whether this be community engagement or the recruitment of a diverse police force.

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