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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about policing or the law? You may be able to find the answer here.

Through our frequently asked questions section we aim to help you find the answers you need without having to call us to ask for information. We've provided answers to questions on a range of topics which are regularly asked of police forces up and down the country.

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The Strategic Policing Requirement (see link in related information) is one of the obligations imposed by the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011. It is intended to help Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), their police forces and partner agencies to plan for, respond to and recover from threats that extend beyond their immediate communities.

As the Home Secretary points out in her foreword to the Requirement: "Organised criminals do not stop their activity where one police force ends and another begins".

Some situations (terrorism, civil emergencies, threats to public safety, etc.) require a national response and the Strategic Policing Requirement document sets out what resources police forces need in order to respond effectively in these circumstances. It helps PCCs and Chief Constables to plan to counter them effectively.

The focus of the Requirement is to ensure forces work in collaboration to tackle shared threats, concentrating on what the police need to achieve, rather than how they should achieve it. PCCs and Chief Constables will have responsibility for implementing the Requirement and must work together to determine the most effective and cost-efficient way to maintain the level of resources needed to meet both their force's contribution to the national response and their own operational needs.

PCCs are empowered to hold their Chief Constable to account for the delivery of these functions.

Although the Strategic Policing Requirement is not legislation which has been passed by Parliament, there is an obligation on policing bodies to have regard to it. This means that PCCs and Chief Constables should follow its guidance unless they are satisfied that there are particular circumstances which give them good reasons not to; they should be prepared to justify any decision to depart from it.

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.