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2023 Strategic Policing Requirement

Volume 728: debated on Monday 20 February 2023

The strategic policing requirement (SPR), as set out in section 37A of the Police Act 1996, sets out my view as Home Secretary, as to what the national threats are and the national policing capabilities required to counter those threats. 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.

Following an extensive review and consultation, I am today issuing an updated SPR which builds upon the previous SPR and confirms the existing threats of terrorism, civil emergencies, public disorder, cyber-security incidents, child sexual abuse and serious and organised crime. For the first time, it also includes violence against woman and girls (VAWG) as an additional national threat and recognises the risk it currently presents to public safety and confidence. This will ensure that PCCs and chief constables focus resources and capabilities to tackle this issue of national importance.

The addition of VAWG as a national threat is recognition of the risk it currently presents to public safety and confidence. The updated SPR sets clear expectations around the local and regional police capabilities response to tackle VAWG and how their local force works with others, including collaborating with other agencies. This addition also responds to the recommendation made by the His Majesty’s inspectorate of constabulary, fire and rescue services (HMICFRS) review into the policing response to VAWG.

The Prime Minister and I have made tackling violence against women and girls a key priority and as such no woman or girl should ever have to feel unsafe in her home or community. For example, the Home Office continues to fund DCC Maggie Blyth’s role as the national policing lead for VAWG, alongside funding to support the continued excellent work of the NPCC VAWG taskforce in driving co-ordination and improving the national policing response to VAWG.

The other changes in the revised SPR include:

A more detailed description of how national threats should be tackled by police forces. The response to the national threats is now set out according to the six headings: outcomes; capabilities; capacity requirements; consistency and standards; collaboration; and connectivity with partners.

Strengthened governance and assurance arrangements, including a requirement for more distinct references to the SPR in police and crime plans.

An enhanced summary of each threat, including the numerous related crime types. For example, the serious and organised crime threat now covers in detail crime types such as fraud and organised immigration crime. The public disorder threat summarises the risk of disruptive protests and the capability response required.

My officials have consulted extensively with police leaders and other relevant partners while reviewing the SPR.

The Policing Protocol Order 2011 requires PCCs and forces to have regard to the SPR when exercising their functions. I have committed to reviewing the SPR within two years of publication to ensure it reflects any key changes or shifting threats and priorities in the policing landscape.

A copy of the SPR will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses and can also be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/strategic-policing-requirement

[HCWS565]