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Systematic evidence map of disparities in police outcomes: final report

To support the New Zealand Police Understanding Policing Delivery (UPD) project, we were tasked with completing an academic literature review on bias in policing. However, the vastness and complexity of the relevant research, and the short timeframe for completion meant that it was not possible to complete a single literature review that accurately reflected the evidence base; indeed, it would be difficult to do justice to this literature in a single review under any circumstances. Thus, rather than attempting a traditional literature review, we developed an evidence and gap map of the international research on bias in policing. In this report, we present the rationale, methods used, and key features of the studies on the evidence and gap map (referred to as the ‘evidence map’). This evidence map serves several purposes. Its overarching purpose is to be a resource for more targeted work on specific areas of apparent disparity in policing, including areas prioritised by New Zealand Police as part of the UPD project: decisions about stops, charges, and the use of force. Researchers will be able to use the map to easily identify a) the extent of research in the area of interest, and b) the key features of the research that has been conducted in that area, as a basis. The map will guide rapid evidence reviews and future primary research, both of which can be used to design police practice-based interventions to reduce police-generated disparities in New Zealand.
Type of thesis
University of Waikato