Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are traumatic experiences that occur before the age of 18 and are remembered throughout adulthood and can have negative consequences.

These experiences range from suffering verbal, mental, sexual and physical abuse, to being raised in a household where domestic violence, alcohol abuse, parental separation or drug abuse is present.


Code of Ethics

A set of exemplary standards of behaviour for everyone who works in policing.


Community mapping

Community mapping is the process of developing local knowledge of an area in order to understand and identify:

  • different communities in a neighbourhood
  • what communities are currently engaged with the police locally
  • opportunities and arrangements that already exist for engagement

Cost Benefit Tool

The Cost Benefit Tool can be used to calculate total expenditure on one or more interventions/programmes (across all years of the intervention) and/or to compare the average annual expenditure before and after the introduction of the intervention. 


Crime and Disorder Act 1998, section 17(1)

Duty to consider crime and disorder implications.

  1. Without prejudice to any other obligation imposed on it, it shall be the duty of each authority to which this section applies to exercise its various functions with due regard to the likely effect of the exercise of those functions on, and the need to do all that it reasonably can to prevent,
  1. crime and disorder in its area (including anti-social and other behaviour adversely affecting the local environment); and
  2. the misuse of drugs, alcohol and other substances in its area; and
  3. re-offending in its area


Crime Reduction Toolkit

The Crime Reduction Toolkit summarises the best available research evidence on what works to reduce crime.


Environmental Visual Audit

Used by the police together with local residents and partner agencies (such as local councils, schools, fire service) to identify problems in the area such as litter, graffiti, vandalism, and fly-tipping.


Frontline practitioners

Police officers, police community support officers, police analysts, police specials and other police staff and volunteers.

Hot spot policing

Hot spot policing is a strategy that involves the targeting of resources and activities to those places where crime is most concentrated. The strategy is based on the premise that crime and disorder is not evenly spread within neighbourhoods but clustered in small locations.


National Decision Model

The National Decision Model (NDM) is a decision making tool that is suitable for all decisions and should be used by everyone in policing.


Neighbourhood security interviews

Also known as 'i-nsi' (intelligence based neighbourhood security interview). It is a computerised data capture and analysis package that allows police and partner agencies to identify and target crime and disorder that has a disproportionate impact on public perceptions.


Neighbourhood policing

The defining features of neighbourhood policing are:

  • Police officers, staff and volunteers accessible to, responsible for and accountable to communities
  • Community engagement that builds trust and develops a sophisticated understanding of community needs
  • Collaborative problem-solving with communities supported by integrated working with private, public and voluntary sectors

Neighbourhood watch

Neighbourhood Watch involves local residents looking out for suspicious activities and reporting them to the police. It therefore seeks to reduce crime by:

  • increasing surveillance in an area – residents acting as 'eyes and ears' of the police
  • reducing opportunities for crime to be committed – residents reporting suspicious behaviour
  • increasing community cohesion – residents working together to solve problems
  • enhancing police detection


Participatory budgeting

Participatory budgeting directly involves local people in making decisions on the spending priorities for a defined public budget. This means engaging residents and community groups representative of all parts of the community to discuss spending priorities, making spending proposals and vote on them, as well as giving local people a role in the scrutiny and monitoring of the process.


Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, section 34

Engagement with local people

(1)  A chief officer of police must make arrangements for obtaining the views of persons within each neighbourhood in the relevant police area about crime and disorder in that neighbourhood.

(2)  A chief officer of police must make arrangements for providing persons within each neighbourhood in the relevant police area with information about policing in that neighbourhood (including information about how policing in that neighbourhood is aimed at dealing with crime and disorder there).

(3)  Arrangements under this section must provide for, or include arrangements for, the holding in each neighbourhood of regular meetings between:

  1. persons within that neighbourhood, and
  2. police officers with responsibility for supervising or carrying out policing in that neighbourhood.

It is for a chief officer of police to determine what the neighbourhoods are in the relevant police area.


Policing and Crime Reduction Research Map

The Research Map plots details of relevant ongoing policing related research at Masters level and above.



POLKA (the Police OnLine Knowledge Area) is a secure online collaboration tool for the policing community to network, ask questions, share insights, discuss ideas and suggest new ways of working.


Problem Analysis Triangle

The problem analysis triangle (sometimes referred to as the crime triangle) provides a way of thinking about recurring problems of crime and disorder. This idea assumes that crime or disorder results when (1) likely offenders and (2) suitable targets come together in (3) time and space, in the absence of capable guardians for that target.


Problem profile

A problem profile provides details on crime trends or hot spots that may require further analysis.


Problem specification

​A problem specification describes the problem and seeks to explain why the problem might exist (by drawing out theories from the data). They are based on multiple sources of information and should involve communities in describing and defining the problem.

Procedural justice

​Procedural justice describes police contact with colleagues, partners and the public that is fair and respectful. It involves:
• treating people fairly and with dignity and respect
• giving people a chance to express their views, listening and taking them into account
• making impartial decisions and explaining how they were reached
• being open and honest.

Rapid evidence assessment (REA)

REAs use transparent, structured and systematic processes to search for, sift and synthesise research on a particular topic. These processes seek to reduce bias and enable others to replicate the review. An REA is not an exhaustive summary of the literature, as limits are placed on the review process in order to deliver results 'rapidly'.


Routine Activity Theory

​The theory suggests that crime occurs when there is:

  1. A suitable target
  2. A lack of a capable guardian to prevent the crime from happening
  3. A motivated offender

These three elements have to come together at the same time and in the same place.

The theory forms the basis of the problem analysis triangle.

SARA model

​SARA stands for Scanning, Analysis, Response and Assessment. It is a commonly used problem-solving model.



The purpose is to look across a range of information sources to identify problems and prioritise the most important for action.

Signal crime

Some criminal and disorderly incidents function as warning signals to people about the distribution of risks to their security in everyday life. Some crimes and disorderly behaviours are thus held to matter more than others in shaping the public's collective risk perceptions – these are known as signal crimes.


Situational Crime Prevention

Situational crime prevention looks at methods to reduce the opportunities for crime by focusing on the criminal setting.


Super Output Area

A geographic hierarchy designed to improve the reporting of small area statistics in England and Wales. Lower Layer Super Output Areas (LSOAs) typically have a population of around 1500.


Systematic review

A systematic review uses transparent procedures to find, evaluate and synthesize the results of relevant research. Procedures are explicitly defined in advance, in order to ensure that the exercise is transparent and can be replicated. This practice is also designed to minimize bias. Studies included in a review are screened for quality, so that the findings of a large number of studies can be combined.


Targeted foot patrol

Targeted foot patrol is a tactic that involves allocating officers on foot/bicycles to an identified hot spot for the purpose of crime prevention/detection or community engagement. 



​10KV is a web-based debriefing tool for operational incidents. Participants use tablets to contribute anonymously to an online discussion, usually responding to a series of pre-set questions. All responses are recorded and analysed to understand any common themes or key issues raised.


THRIVE is a tool that aims to ensure that risk is assessed in a consistent way. Key considerations for assessing situations include:

Threat, Harm, Risk, Investigation, Vulnerability and Engagement. The College has adopted the THRIVE definition of vulnerability.


Troubled Families Programme

The Troubled Families programme is a government scheme which provides dedicated support to families with multiple problems.


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