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Effective implementation of problem-oriented policing

Evidence-based guidelines to support the effective implementation of problem-oriented policing. 

Effective implementation of problem-oriented policing

These evidence-based guidelines support the effective implementation of problem-oriented policing. They set out the actions that chief officers and other policing leaders should take to embed a sustainable problem-oriented policing approach in their organisation. These guidelines complement the Neighbourhood policing guidelines, which include problem-solving as a key component. They also provide practical advice and supporting resources.

These guidelines do not cover the effectiveness of specific problem-solving models, such as SARA (scanning, analysis, response, assessment).

Research evidence shows that problem-oriented policing is an effective strategy for reducing crime and disorder (Hinkle JC and others, 2020). Despite this evidence base, forces appear to find it challenging to implement sustainable problem-oriented policing. For example, inspections by His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), as well as peer reviews by the national Problem Solving and Demand Reduction Programme, have consistently found a mixed picture on how far problem-oriented policing has been embedded in forces.

To help forces embed sustainable problem-oriented policing, the guidelines cover the following areas: 

  • governance
  • organisational infrastructure and capability
  • partnerships

The supporting information that follows each guideline includes a brief summary of the evidence  and explains what the guideline might mean in practice. (Information about different types of evidence is included in the section ‘How evidence-based are these guidelines?’). It also provides practical suggestions to help implementation. These suggestions will be supported by other products that will be available alongside these guidelines.


  • Hinkle JC and others. (2020). Problem-oriented policing for reducing crime and disorder: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Campbell Systematic Reviews, 16(2).
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