Short courses


Problem Solving and Implementing Evidence-Based Responses: Crime and Public Safety

  • 6 hours (1 day masterclass), or 18 hours ('stretched' programme)
  • 1 day masterclass, or 4 month 'stretched' programme


This course aims to help decision-makers responsible for improving policing and community safety to tackle crime and other public safety issues using a problem-oriented, intelligence-led and evidence-based approach.

The course is offered as a bespoke course, delivered to an agency on request. This allows us to add some customisation to the course by focusing group exercises on issues relevant to your requirements.

The course can be run as either a one-day masterclass or a stretched programme over four months. It can either be held at our offices in London or at your site (for a minimum of 10 staff).

The course is run by UCL's Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science and draws on the Institute's extensive experience of working with police, community safety and security agencies from around the world.

Who this course is for

The course is designed for officers and managers whose role is to provide support, or who are directly responsible, for bringing about reductions in crime, harm, disorder and/or anti-social behaviour. 

Previous course participants have included superintendents, inspectors and sergeants, police partnership liaison officers, community safety partnership officers and managers, intelligence managers, intelligence analysts and those responsible for enforcing compliance (e.g. alcohol licensing).

Course content

The course will cover:

  • key concepts involved in problem solving
  • principles involved in implementing evidence-based responses
  • ways to shift and share responsibility in order to effectively tackle problems

You'll also discuss:

  • how to qualify how a response is likely to work, and the context in which the response activity is likely to be successful
  • how the problem-solving approach can be reconciled with the ambition of being more evidence-based
  • how to identify the types of activity that are likely to work and those that are not

Examples from practice and research will be used throughout the course to help illustrate the principles and concepts discussed.

Group exercises will involve working through problems relevant to your service's requirements. On previous courses, group exercises have involved working on issues such as burglary, domestic violence, child sexual exploitation, cybercrime, violence associated with the night-time economy, youth anti-social behaviour, gangs, and demands associated with tackling mental health issues.

By combining the principles of problem solving and evidence-based policing with exercises on real world issues, the learning taken from the course can then be transferable and repeated to other issues that need to be addressed.

Course delivery options and costs

The course can be run either as a one-day masterclass or a stretched programme, delivered over four months. Both courses can be delivered multiple times to suit your demand.

One-day masterclass

The one-day masterclass covers the key principles involved in applying a problem-oriented and evidence-based approach to solving crime and other public safety issues.

The course includes group exercises where each group focuses on a priority problem of their choosing, applying learning from the course to real world issues. 


The one-day masterclass costs between £2,250 and £3,450, depending on whether it's held at our London offices or on-site at your offices.

Stretched four-month programme

The stretched programme is delivered over four months and involves:

  • two workshops
  • six weeks of problem-solving development and site visits
  • follow-up meetings to review response plans and their implementation

The stretched programme covers the same teaching content as the one-day masterclass, but involves more time working with groups in class, as well as on-site on a problem of your choosing.

This programme provides a practical means of embedding problem-solving and evidence-based principles into operational service delivery, and the development of case studies which demonstrate proper problem solving.

First workshop and problem solving development: At the first workshop, problem-solving principles will be discussed and work will start on each group's choice of problems. Following this workshop, there's six weeks of problem-solving development involving analysis, site visits (e.g. to the problem locations) and problem-resolution discussion.

Second workshop: At the second workshop, each group presents findings from their problem-solving work and you'll examine the principles that make any response effective, what works and why, and formulate response plans.

Follow-up support includes reviewing and providing further advice on response-plan implementation, and site visits to review the response activity, its impact and how it can be strengthened.


The cost of the stretched programme is between £7,500 and £9,000, depending on where it is held (cost is inclusive of expenses).

European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS)

You may be able to gain credit for these courses under the European Credit Transfer & Accumulation System (ECTS) if you're studying in another European country.

Contact Spencer Chainey for further details and to discuss course options.

Course team

Spencer Chainey

Spencer Chainey

Spencer is the Principal Research Associate at the UCL Department of Security and Crime Science. His particular research interests are in developing geographical crime analysis and crime mapping. He carries out most of his day-to-day work on developing the use of data, information sharing and analysis to aid intelligence development and decision-making by police forces, community safety partnerships, and national crime reduction and policing agencies.

His work has influenced national (UK) policy, and has contributed to policing and crime reduction developments in the USA, Canada, Brazil, China, Germany, Northern Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. His work is also used in examples of good practice by the UK Cabinet Office (Social Exclusion Unit), Local Government Improvement and Development, The Home Office, the Audit Commission, The Housing Corporation and the United States National Institute of Justice.

Learner reviews

"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)

"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."

"Excellent speakers, focused, concise and understandable." (Community Safety Officer)

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

"I will be recommending this course to my Intelligence Manager."

Course information last modified: 30 Nov 2022, 16:00