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First National Policing Chief Scientific Adviser announced

11 May 2021

Professor Paul Taylor has been appointed as the first National Policing Chief Scientific Adviser.

The newly created National Police Chiefs’ Council role, funded by the Home Office, will connect science and technology expertise both in the UK and globally to keep policing at the forefront of best practice. The Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) will guide critical strategies, policies and decisions, helping police to protect millions of people.

Professor Paul Taylor #2

The role will focus on crime prevention and will use emerging evidence, research and innovation in science and technology, including in both data and behavioural science, to advise policing on both the opportunities and risks to help reduce crime. Independent, expert, scientific advice will be provided to the sector as a whole, including the College of Policing, the National Crime Agency, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, individual constabularies and on occasion government Ministers. 

A new science and technology strategy for policing will be developed alongside the delivery of the Government’s manifesto commitment to establish a new National Crime and Justice Laboratory. The Laboratory will work to provide insight and solutions across policing, the Criminal Justice System and government with the aim of transforming the prevention and reduction of crime.

It is envisaged that these initiatives will play a pivotal role in future policing at home and around the world. Professor Taylor, currently the director of the Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST) based at Lancaster University has led on innovations in crime prevention, predictive policing and a national programme of research that has helped shape policing in counter-terrorism and emergency response. Professor Taylor officially took up the post on 1 May 2021.

Professor Paul Taylor, said:

“It is my privilege to be joining the NPCC at a time when science and technology has so much to offer policing.

“The UK has always been at the forefront of using evidence and science in policing and I intend to build on this tradition, ensuring the very best research and innovation lies at the heart of what we do.

“I look forward to working with outstanding colleagues across the sector and within the Chief Scientific Advisor network.”

National Police Chiefs’ Council Chair Martin Hewitt, said:

“As we continually strive to make twenty-first century policing more effective and efficient, it is crucial that we deepen and expand our capability to harness science and technology to prevent crime and keep people safe.

“Professor Paul Taylor will bring his exceptional experience and outstanding leadership to help policing to be prepared for both the opportunities and the threats presented by science and technology in the future, and I look forward to working with him.”

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse, said:

“Our police officers are the best in the world, and we’re determined to equip them with the tools and expertise they need to stay one step ahead of criminals.

“This role will channel the brightest and best insights across science and technology to help the police prevent crime before it happens and keep our communities safe.

“I welcome Professor Paul Taylor to this role and I look forward to working with him closely on our shared mission of driving forward innovation in policing and driving down crime.”

Sir Patrick Vallance, Government Chief Scientific Adviser, said:

“Congratulations to Professor Taylor on becoming National Policing Chief Scientific Adviser. This new role will help ensure that police can make the best use of the latest science and technologies to help prevent and reduce crime. Professor Taylor brings a wealth of relevant experience and knowledge with him. I look forward to working with Professor Taylor and welcoming him to the network of Chief Scientific Advisers across government."

Professor Paul Taylor - Biography

Paul Taylor is Professor of Psychology at Lancaster University, Professor of Human Interaction at the University of Twente, and director of the UK Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST).

Established in 2015, CREST has brought together over 140 researchers from 35 universities and SMEs to deliver research that informs policy and practice in security and policing.

Before this, Professor Taylor established Lancaster’s Institute for security research, leading staff and students from ten departments and growing an interdisciplinary strength that still defines the Institute’s contribution today.

Professor Taylor’s research uses modelling and experimentation to understand and predict human cooperation and violence. Its implications have helped in the prevention of serious crime, the negotiation of hostage crises, and the use of data in national security.

Over his career Professor Taylor has contributed science advice to a number of high profile police investigations in the UK and overseas. In 2005 he received a Metropolitan Police Service Commissioner Commendation for his contributions.