College guidelines


The College of Policing is currently developing guidelines to support police to recognise and respond to individuals at risk of harm. The work is looking to explore how organisations support their frontline staff to identify and respond to the signs of vulnerability and help keep people safe.

The College is working with a committee of frontline practitioners and subject matter experts chaired by DCC Louisa Rolfe – the National Police Chiefs' Council lead for domestic abuse. The committee is developing guidelines which intend to provide clear recommendations for practice, based on the best available evidence. The guidelines will be aimed at police officers and staff who have contact with the public, police leaders supporting officers and staff in frontline roles, and those with responsibility for training and developing frontline staff.

These vulnerability and risk guidelines will focus on:

  • Recognition: How to spot the signs of vulnerability,
  • Responding: How to create a safe, trusting environment to encourage the disclosure of risk/ harm and elicit the information required to inform appropriate actions to keep people safe, 
  • Support: How forces can support frontline staff to recognise and respond to vulnerability within the scope of their duties as a police officer/ police staff.

For a full outline of this work please refer to the scope.

Head of Faculty David Tucker explains: 'So much of the work of policing is about recognising risk, assessing it and taking effective action to reduce or remove that risk. The College is working with forces to make recommendations that will support operational colleagues to make the best decisions about risk, based on the best available evidence. Whatever risk assessment tool is used, decisions will always involve the use of professional judgement and is unlikely ever to be a precise science'.


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