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Strategic Policing Requirement Refresh

Volume 593: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2015

The strategic policing requirement (SPR) sets out my view, as Home Secretary, of the national threats that the police must address and the national policing capabilities required to counter those threats. The national threats currently in the SPR are terrorism, civil emergencies, public disorder, cyber-security incidents and serious and organised crime. The SPR supports police and crime commissioners (PCCs) and chief constables in balancing local and national priorities effectively, and in driving improvements to their force’s response to serious and cross-boundary threats.

I am today issuing a revised and updated SPR which confirms the validity of the existing threats and, for the first time, makes child sexual abuse an additional national threat.

This will ensure that PCCs and chief constables prioritise an issue of growing national importance. It will encourage a collaborative approach to building the capability needed to tackle child sexual abuse, including efficient sharing of resources, intelligence and best practice, and deliver a more effective and integrated policing response.

The other changes in the revised SPR include:

Adopting the definition of a “national”—rather than “large-scale”—cyber-security incident, as set out in the Cabinet Office national cyber-security incident management policy, to achieve greater clarity and consistency in the articulation of the cyber-threat;

updating the definition of “cyber-crime” in line with the definition provided in the serious and organised crime strategy;

including references to regional and organised crime units (ROCUs) in recognition of the important role they play in tackling serious and organised crime; providing a national network of regional capabilities; and

widening the scope of the civil emergency threat to ensure that it is not limited to coastal flooding and includes all those contingencies that require an aggregated response across force boundaries.

My officials have had extensive engagement with police leaders and other partners to review and revise the SPR. PCCs and forces will be expected to have regard to the refreshed SPR when exercising their responsibilities to deliver the changes that have been introduced.

I have placed copies of the SPR in the House of Commons Library and an electronic copy can be found at: policing-requirement