The New Zealand Police EBP Journey

Superintendent Bruce O’Brien

Director: Evidence Based Policing, Evidence Based Policing Centre, New Zealand Police

For New Zealand Police, Evidence Based Policing is about testing how effective our actions, approaches and strategies are, researching emerging issues or trends, to develop new ways of working to better serve New Zealanders. Five key EBP success criteria are expected of EBP in New Zealand Police to deliver on, this presentation will discuss the structure, challenges and successes of EBP in New Zealand within its first year of operation.


Superintendent Bruce O’Brien joined New Zealand Police in 1999 and has worked most of his career in operational and investigation roles in Auckland. While in a crime prevention role, he turned to available research on burglary which led him to the world of EBP and how research and data can complement police strategies and crime prevention initiatives. Bruce has a strong interest in Restorative Justice and how it can be used to reduce recidivism and victimisation. He has contributed to research on Iwi Community Panels in New Zealand which use restorative justice principles with the intent of keeping low level offending out of the criminal justice system and providing victims a voice in the process. In December 2018, Bruce was appointed as the inaugural Director of Evidence Based Policing in New Zealand and leads a large team of academics and operational practitioners nationally. Bruce is excited about the possibilities EBP presents for Law Enforcement in Australasia and looks forward to further collaborating with academic institutes and Law Enforcement internationally.

Australia & New Zealand Society of Evidence Based Policing

The Australia & New Zealand Society of Evidence Based Policing (ANZSEBP) was formed in April 2013 in Brisbane, Australia. The ANZSEBP is a police practitioner-led Society. The mission of the ANZSEBP is to develop, disseminate and advocate for police to use scientific research (“the evidence”) to guide best practice in all aspects of policing. The ANZSEBP Chairperson serves on the Executive Board of the British Society of Evidence Based Policing, ensuring that the ANZSEBP works cooperatively with an international group of police to advance evidence based policing.

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