Solving problems

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Using structured problem-solving to deal with local priorities, working collaboratively with communities and, where appropriate, private, public and voluntary sector partners.

First published
Written by College of Policing
Neighbourhood policing

Solving problems – guideline

Essential elements include:

  • a focus on proactive prevention
  • systematic use of a structured problem-solving process, such as SARA (scanning, analysis, response, assessment)
  • detailed problem specifications based on multiple sources of information
  • involving communities in each stage of the problem-solving process
  • using evidence-based and innovative responses that target the underlying causes of problems and are tailored to local context
  • routinely assessing the impact of responses and sharing good practice
  • integration with other parts of the organisation to support its delivery
  • working with partners (eg, by sharing data and analytical resource and delivering responses)

Problem-solving in neighbourhoods should:

  • enable police and partners to address long-term issues affecting communities and provide reassurance
  • reduce demand on the police service and partners
Empirical evidence
Practitioner evidence