Policy paper

Strategic policing requirement

The Strategic Policing Requirement (SPR) was first issued in July 2012, in accordance with Section 77 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Strategic policing requirement

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It focuses on those areas where government has a responsibility for ensuring that sufficient capabilities are in place to respond to serious and cross-boundary threats and supports chief constables and Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) in balancing local and national priorities.

The Home Secretary has engaged closely with policing and other partners to review the SPR. The new version introduces Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) as an additional national threat and reaffirms the validity of the existing threats: terrorism, serious and organised crime, cyber security incidents, public disorder and civil emergencies.

The inclusion of CSA in the SPR is expected to inform and assist with building capability to tackle the threat through more efficient sharing of resources, specialist skills, best practice and intelligence. This should, in turn, strengthen the policing response and improve our ability to safeguard children from serious harm.

The other changes in the revised SPR include:

  • adopting the definition of a ‘national’ (rather than ‘large-scale’) cyber security incident, as set out in the Cabinet Office National Cyber Security Incident Management Policy,
  • updating the definition of ‘cyber crime’ in line with the definition provided in the Serious and Organised Crime Strategy,
  • including references to Regional and Organised Crime Units (ROCUs) in recognition of the important role they play in tackling serious and organised crime; providing a national network of regional capabilities, and
  • widening the scope of the civil emergency threat to ensure that it is not limited to coastal flooding and includes all contingencies that require a collective response across force boundaries.

Police and crime commissioners and chief constables are required to have regard to the SPR in exercising their respective roles.

Strategic policing requirement refresh WMS can be found on the parliamentary website.

Published 31 July 2012
Last updated 3 March 2015 + show all updates
  1. Updated strategic policing requirement published.

  2. First published.