Lean and Six Sigma in policing: austerity, driver or distraction?

Bryan Rodgers, Jiju Antony, Ivor Marshall

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Scopus citations


    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to widen some of the recent discussion which focusses on austerity being the driver for introducing continuous improvement (CI) methodologies, such as Lean and Six Sigma, into policing. Design/methodology/approach: The authors apply over 80 years combined experience in policing and CI to analyse academic and practitioner literature to summarise the drivers for change and the progress of Lean and Six Sigma in policing and the UK Public Sector. Findings: The paper concludes that there are significant gaps in the literature and while there are undoubted challenges, there are overlaps between the strategic direction of policing and the approaches of Lean and Six Sigma. Research limitations/implications: There are a small but growing number of papers which evidence the applicability of Lean and Six Sigma in policing. Practical implications: The paper emphasises the risks to service delivery if factors such as budget constraints are considered in isolation. The paper provides examples of opportunities which may exist in policing as well as introducing ongoing work in policing. Originality/value: This paper is among the first to explore the issues of how CI methodologies fit into the strategic direction and challenges of policing services.

    Original languageBritish English
    Pages (from-to)73-84
    Number of pages12
    JournalInternational Journal of Emergency Services
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - 24 Apr 2019


    • Continuous improvement
    • Lean Six Sigma
    • Policing
    • Public services
    • Voice of the customer


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