Our approach to public health

The College's commitment to public health, in partnership with Public Health England and the National Police Chiefs' Council. 

The College of Policing, Public Health England, the National Police Chiefs' Council and others signed up to the policing, health and social care consensus in 2018. We committed to working better together on prevention and early intervention, recognising that the majority of police work is rooted in complex social need. One way of doing this is taking a public health approach in policing.

As we have worked together to implement the policing, health and social care consensus, a frequent question has been, 'what exactly do we mean by a public health approach in the context of policing?'

Working closely with Public Health England, we have compiled a discussion paper to explore this. There is no single answer or a one-size-fits-all approach, and it is not always expressed in the same way. However, we have chosen to highlight five core elements that make up public health approaches:

  • starting with populations (rather than individuals)
  • seeking to understand and address the causes of the causes
  • championing prevention
  • intelligent use of data and evidence base
  • organisations working in partnership with each other and communities

Landscape review 2021

The policing and health collaboration landscape review 2021 outlines the progress in leadership, practice, culture and evidence since the publication of the consensus in 2018.

The review found that public health approaches are successfully becoming embedded in policing. It describes the progress achieved and opportunities for further development in four key areas: 

  • policy and systems
  • evidence for primary prevention
  • public health practice
  • research in public health and policing