The Evidence-Based Policing Matrix

Cynthia Lum, Christopher S. Koper, Cody W. Telep

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

188 Scopus citations


The next phase of evidence-based policing requires both scholars and practitioners to move from lists of specific studies about "what works" to using that information strategically. This requires developing generalizations or principles on the nature of effective police strategies and translating the field of police evaluation research into digestible forms that can be used to alter police tactics, strategies, accountability systems, and training. In this article, we present a tool intended for such use: the Evidence-Based Policing Matrix. The Matrix is a consistently updated, research-to-practice translation tool that categorizes and visually bins all experimental and quasi-experimental research on police and crime reduction into intersections between three common dimensions of crime prevention-the nature of the target, the extent to which the strategy is proactive or reactive, and the specificity or generality of the strategy. Our mapping and visualization of 97 police evaluation studies conducted through December 31, 2009, indicate that proactive, place-based, and specific policing approaches appear much more promising in reducing crime than individual-based, reactive, and general ones. We conclude by discussing how the Matrix can be used to guide future research and facilitate the adoption of evidence-based policing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-26
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Experimental Criminology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Effectiveness
  • Evaluation
  • Evidence-based policing
  • Experiments
  • Hot spots policing
  • Matrix

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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