N8 PRP was established by the N8 Research Partnership, which promotes collaboration, innovation, and efficiency between 8 research-intensive northern universities.

2013-2014 – Initiation

In 2013, The N8 Research Partnership established N8 PRP to develop a collaborative research network with regional police forces and establish the N8 universities as leaders in policing research. 10 regional police forces agreed to join the partnership, with Professor Adam Crawford from the University of Leeds as Director. Shortly after the launch event in December 2013, the College of Policing announced that N8 PRP had been awarded a £50k grant to expand on its work. With this funding, 3 further workshops were held and 8 Rapid Evidence Reviews were produced on areas identified as research priorities. In February 2014, HEFCE (now the Office for Students) announced that N8 PRP had been awarded a £3m Catalyst grant for a major delivery programme over 5 years. This was matched by £3.686m in funding from the police and university partners. 

2015-2020 – Catalyst Grant

In 2015, Cheshire Constabulary joined N8 PRP and the partnership began a 5 year delivery programme funded with the Catalyst Grant. There were 6 workstreams: Data Analytics, Innovation, International, Knowledge Exchange, Research, and Training and Learning. These workstreams produced the following:

  • Data Analytics: 4 research projects, established the Data Analysis Digital Service (DADS).
  • Innovation: established the annual Policing Innovation Forum and Small Grants fund. 
  • International: 2016 conference; report comparing international approaches to policing. 
  • Knowledge Exchange: conferences held in 2016, 2017, 2019; staff exchange on restorative approaches to OCGs, and PhD internship on ‘report to court’ narratives in policing domestic abuse. 
  • Training and Learning: 3 workshops, 1 summer school, CPD programme for Data Analysts, report on best practice, co-production project on football policing. 

In addition, N8 PRP funded 7 PhD studentships and 4 MSc bursaries. 

In December 2019, Prof Adam Crawford announced that following the end of the Catalyst Grant he would be standing down as N8 PRP Director, and that the partners had agreed to continue funding the partnership for 12 months so a new operating model could be established with a view to creating a sustainable future for N8 PRP. 

In April 2020, N8 PRP announced that Professor Geoff Pearson, University of Manchester, and Chief Supt. Ngaire Waine, Merseyside Police, had been appointed as Co-Directors as of June that year, following the departure of Prof Adam Crawford. This meant that the operational management of N8 PRP moved from the University of Leeds to the University of Manchester. In November, a final 2-day conference was held showcasing the research and impact of the past 5 years, and reflected on the theme of partnership in policing diverse forms of vulnerability.

2021-2024 – Partner Investment

In 2021, the N8 Research Partnership Board and the 11 police partners agreed to self-fund N8 PRP for 36 months, investing in collaborative policing research for the benefit of all parties. In June, Cleveland Constabulary announced they would be joining N8 PRP, meaning that as of September the partnership included all of the regional forces on the N8 University footprint.