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Peter Gudge
Tel: +44 (0)20 3108 3206

What Works Masterclass

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What Works Masterclass: Problem solving, analysis and implementing evidence-based responses (1 day course)

"I learned so much from the course but particularly the useful insight into the process of problem solving and being fully aware of the relationship between the analyst and decision-makers" CSP Manager

This one-day masterclass is designed for police, enforcement, and community safety practitioners whose role it is to bring about reductions in crime, disorder, anti-social behaviour and fire incidents.  The course addresses the key concepts involved in problem solving, the role that analysis plays in understanding crime (and other incidents), and the principles involved in implementing evidence-based responses.  These principles and concepts are illustrated throughout with examples from practice and research.

A key aim of the course is to help meet the challenge of effectively improving policing and community safety, with reduced resources, by ensuring decision-makers can confidently draw from an evidence base that helps them to implement responses that have impact. This includes helping delegates explore how they can make the best use of analysis and intelligence products.

The course is held at our offices in London, but can also be delivered at your site for a minimum of 10 staff.

What Works Masterclass: Problem solving, analysis and implementing evidence-based responses (1 day course)

Aimed at: Officers and managers whose role is to either provide support or who are directly responsible for bringing about reductions in crime, disorder and/or anti-social behaviour.  The course is also designed for those who commission or make use of analytical products.  Previous course delegates have included Community Safety Partnership officers and managers, middle to senior-level police officers (e.g. neighbourhood inspectors, superintendents, chief superintendents), crime reduction practitioners and policy officers, and those responsible for enforcing compliance (e.g. alcohol licensing, waste management).

Course programme details:

1. The principles of problem solving and thinking scientifically

In this first session we explore the key principles of problem solving that are applied to crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour.  This is designed to serve as a refresher to ensure that everyone is at the same level before we continue with some more advanced and new concepts.  We also evaluate these key principles against some of your recent attempts to reduce crime and improve community safety.  This includes extending the concept of problem solving by explaining the importance of thinking in a scientific manner when it comes to developing our understanding of crime and ASB problems.

2. Why crime happens

Interpreting and explain problems requires an understanding of certain theories.  We call these the criminologies of everyday life because they are practical to day-to-day scenarios.  In this session we explain these theories and illustrate their application.

3. The role of analysis

Possibly the key principle in solving crime and ASB problems is to begin by ensuring you have a clear understanding of the problem.  This is where analysis comes in.  In this session we define what we mean by ‘analysis’ and explain what it should involve.  We make the argument that to date, little analysis is conducted by those working to prevent and control crime, and instead that most intelligence production starts and stops at the scanning stage.  We illustrate the differences between the two.  We also help to define the role that non-analysts (decision-makers) should play in the intelligence production process, paying particular attention on the need for good and clear commissioning.  We then describe a model for the process of intelligence production.

4. Understanding the problem

In this session we describe a new approach to improve the quality of the analysis to assist you in your decision making.  We illustrate the concept of using hypothesis testing for improving the explanatory content of analysis, using examples for violent crime and burglary, but discuss this more widely with your current key issues (e.g. ASB, metal theft, crime associated with the NTE).  This includes an exercise that is aimed at helping you to devise hypotheses and improve upon the current commissioning process of analysis.  We then illustrate how good analysis makes it easier to identify how to respond to problems and who is best placed to implement that response.

5. Implementing evidence-based responses

In the penultimate session we explore the key principles that are involved in designing and implementing responses.  A vital concept we begin with is explaining the importance of thinking in terms of mechanisms – this relates to understanding how a particular response may work.  We then discuss this concept with examples and illustrate that it is not sufficient to just know ‘what works’ but instead it is vital to understand how a particular response may work in a given context.  We then extend on this by defining responsibility, competency and the use of levers when it comes to crime and ASB control.  We then discuss some of the key concepts to think about when deciding on a response by describing what to avoid, what to include, the need to think strategically and the need to balance responses in a manner that are efficient and deliver a sustainable impact.  Throughout we use examples and discuss the practicalities of the types of responses that you have previously initiated or plan to implement in the future.

6. Avoiding the problems associated with problem solving

We finish the course by identifying the main problems to avoid when adopting the key principles that have been taught on the course, and answering any outstanding questions.  We also provide a list of other useful resources for further reading and consideration.

Course tutors: Professor Nick Tilley, Professor Richard Wortley, Spencer Chainey

What Works Masterclass

June, 2010 (3 separate courses)   

“A lot to take in but a good grounding to think, ask questions to inform decisions and appreciate the value of a good analyst!”  Police Intelligence Manager

“Surprised.  Excellent speakers, focused, concise and understandable.”  Community Safety Officer

“Good practical tools and techniques covered which can be directly transferred back to the workplace.  Compelling and persuasive approach in articulating benefits of analysis and its direct contribution to improved service delivery and business planning.”

“I will be recommending this course to my Intelligence Manager”.

“Very worthwhile course, excellent links between the strategic and tactical, and great pointers to areas of effective practice.”

“Very useful and informative course.”

“Well done.  I not only learnt a lot but now feel capable of drawing on that information”.

May, 2010

“Very interesting and informative and has made me think about some of the ways we operate locally.” Police Inspector

“Great opportunity to stop and think about what we do and why, and to question our reasoning.”  Police Analyst

“Excellent course, thought provoking and very useful – please run more of these!”  Partnership Analyst

“Excellent.”  Police Intelligence Manager

“I wish I had been on the course 8 weeks ago!”  Partnership Analyst

“Excellent presentation, gave lots of good advice and thought provoking ideas.  Thank you.”  Community Safety Partnership Manager

“I’ll certainly be looking at crime figures and statistical data and asking what is this really telling me, what is the issue?”  Police Intel Officer

“Excellent course, really enjoyable – motivated!!!”  Partnership Analyst

February, 2010

“Excellent, thorough, very effective.”  Linda Hant…..

“Really useful and timely course – thanks very much.”  Jan Dy..-Sld…

“Excellent course.  Some of the gaps between good practice and our current work are now very obvious.  Plenty to take away and think about!”

“Interesting and challenging – thank you!”

January, 2010 (4 separate courses)

“It was very useful to understand what analytical products can/should produce rather than stats and maps.”

“Good course – especially for managers of analysts.  Thanks for emphasising the need to allow analysts TIME to produce the work.” Partnership Analyst

“I have really enjoyed the session and have learnt so much.”

“Very informative, well presented and I have learnt a lot.  Thanks.”

“Very helpful course.  The presentations were excellent and informative.”
“Very engaging presenters and very ‘practically based’.  An eye-opener to the misuse of analysts.”

“Very informative, gave me a lot of new ideas.”

“The class has certainly enhanced my understanding of the analytical function.”

“Really enjoyed the Masterclass – this will definitely help me in my day to day job!”

“Very interesting and informative day.  It highlighted to me the difference between performance monitoring and analysis.”

“Great delivery, very relaxed, informative and great content.”

“Very thought provoking.An ideal opportunity to discuss and reflect on the relevant issues.”

“Promoted expansion of the mind in relation to problem-solving.”

“Very inspirational – will banish descriptive stats from now on!”

“I thoroughly enjoyed the course, and, more importantly, hope to take lots of the ideas back to work with me.”

“Some very useful ‘concepts’ explained and explored – i.e. offender rational choices, effort, risk, reward, excuse, provocation and using the right ‘mechanisms’ to impact on those choices in crime prevention.  Every Police Officer should understand and seek to use these principles”.

February, 2009

“I learnt about the importance and value of ‘critical’ and in-depth analysis.”  CSP Coordinator

“Very enjoyable and informative.”  Police Senior Analyst

“[This course] has given me the level that I need to get what I feel we should be seeking.”  Partnership Manager

March, 2008

“Very useful indeed and very well presented, thank you.”  Government Office Crime Reduction Manager

“Very useful and informative course.  The subject was made very interesting and was clearly explained.”  Police Officer

October, 2007

“I feel better equipped to support our crime analyst in her work and have a better understanding of what she requires.”  CSP Crime Reduction Manager

“Very useful, I’m going to be even nicer to our analysts!”  CDRP Coordinator

“Excellent, enjoyable, engaging.”  Community Safety Project Officer

London, May, 2007

“An excellent course – well paced and clearly delivered.  Suitably tailored for a range of different knowledge levels.”  Government Office London

“Managed to get the strategic/policy elements I wanted.”  Government Office London

“Very good, enjoyable and intellectually stimulating.” Government Office London

Course Dates: 

Tuesday 27th October 2015

We also offer this course as a dedicated course to CSPs and/or local policing teams i.e. we come to your site and deliver this course to a group of upto 20 people. If you are interested in this option then please contact Spencer Chainey

Course Cost: £495 per person

Group Discount: 10% discount for bookings of two or more. To qualify, all group delegates must be booked at the same time.

Accommodation: UCL has a number of residences that are available to book when courses are held in the summer months.  These are available from £45 per night.  We recommend Frances Gardner House or James Lighthill House due to their proximity to the JDI and their facilities.  Please visit this site ( for more details and to make any accommodation bookings. We advise booking early.  The accommodation is basic, but clean and fantastic value for London.

For something a bit grander we recommend the Cartwright Gardens Apartments:

For short stays:

For longer stays:

Page last modified on 03 mar 14 09:44 by Spencer Chainey