Strategic Policing Requirement

In July 2012 the Home Office published the Strategic Policing Requirement (SPR) (external link). The document sets out the threats that require a national policing capability to ensure they are tackled effectively. The threats are:

  • Terrorism
  • Civil emergencies
  • Organised crime
  • Threats to public order
  • A large-scale cyber incident

All forces and police and crime commissioners must have regard to the SPR when setting their local policing plans. The SPR states that HMIC will provide assurance that the preparation and delivery of those requirements set out in the SPR have been subject to a proportionate and risk-based testing and inspection regime.

Inspection and reports

The breadth of requirements that are set out in the SPR are such that it has been necessary to plan a series of inspections over three years, so that the police response to all of the national threats can be examined individually.

Our first report, ‘The Strategic Policing Requirement: An inspection of the arrangements that police forces have in place to meet the SPR’, examines how well police forces have established the arrangements that the SPR requires them to have in place to counter a number of specified threats to national security and public safety. It is based on data and documentary evidence provided by all 43 police forces in England and Wales in July 2013. It includes supporting fieldwork, conducted in 18 forces, and in nine Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCUs).

HMIC found that we could provide assurance that chief constables are having regard to the SPR, but that much more needs to be done by forces to secure the levels of preparedness that are necessary for them to collectively respond to all of the national threats, as required by the SPR. Our report recommends that chief constables need to immediately establish a collective leadership approach, in order to secure the required levels of national preparedness.

Get the report

Strategic Policing Requirement: An inspection of the arrangements that police forces have in place to meet the Strategic Policing Requirement

Threats to public order and of a large-scale cyber incident

Two further reports provide an in-depth examination of how well the police service has met the requirements of the SPR in relation to two of the national threat areas: public order and a large-scale cyber incident.

Strategic Policing Requirement: An inspection of how police forces in England and Wales deal with threats to public order

Strategic Policing Requirement: An inspection of how police forces in England and Wales deal with threats of a large-scale cyber incident (including criminal attack)

Force findings

These reports set out what we found when we examined the arrangements that forces have in place to meet the strategic policing requirement.

Strategic policing requirement inspection – force findings