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About this guide

Purpose and structure of the serious violence hot spots policing guide.

First published
Serious violence hot spots policing guide
1 min read


Evidence shows that hot spots policing can reduce serious violence when implemented successfully. Its principles are intuitive and simple, but hot spots policing can present some practical challenges.

When implementing hot spots policing, practitioners must consider:

  • which areas need patrols
  • which days and times patrols should occur
  • what should be done in hot spots
  • how much crime hot spots policing prevents

This guide seeks to answer many of these questions and challenges using a seven-step process.


The seven steps were developed by researchers at the Cambridge Centre for Evidence-Based Policing. The development process included:

  • a review of existing evidence
  • gathering information from 18 forces about their progress with hot spots policing

Who it's for

Hot spots policing is complex and requires engagement with several stakeholders. This guide is primarily for those tasked with implementing hot spots policing.


The seven steps are:

  1. thinking about implementation and barriers to success

  2. enabling technologies that can support plans

  3. targeting plans for serious violence hot spots

  4. training officers on hot spots policing

  5. tasking to ensure officers are available

  6. tracking to ensure police perform hot spots policing duties

  7. testing to measure the amount of serious violence prevented

The steps should be followed in order when implementing hot spots policing. Each step addresses many areas and includes:

  • case studies to illustrate common barriers to successful hot spots policing
  • strategies for overcoming these barriers
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