Police decision making is often complex. Decisions are required in difficult circumstances and are often made based on incomplete or contradictory information. In addition, police officers and police staff are sometimes required to make decisions in circumstances where those involved deliberately mislead or try to mislead them. It is, therefore, not surprising that sometimes the decision does not achieve the best outcome.
To help everyone in policing make decisions and to provide a framework in which decisions can be examined and challenged, both at the time and afterwards, the police service has adopted a single, national decision model (NDM).
The model has at its centre the Code of Ethics as the touchstone for all decision making. Using the model encourages officers and staff to act in accordance with the Code and use their discretion where appropriate. It also reduces risk aversion and weighs the balance of resourcing against demand, threat and risk.
Decision makers will receive the support of their organisation in instances where it can be shown that their decisions were assessed and managed reasonably in the circumstances existing at the time. This support applies even where harm results from those decisions and actions.
The NDM is specific to policing. The joint decision model (JDM) has been developed for use when officers and staff are making decisions jointly with other partner agencies. It is based on the NDM and is included within the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme (JESIP).