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Covert Policing APP

Undercover policing is a covert tactic used by the Police to obtain evidence and intelligence. It is also used to detect crime and disorder and help maintain public safety.

Undercover policing is a lawful and ethical tactic and when applied rightly can be very effective tool. In order to ensure it is kept this way, Authorised Professional Practice (APP) has been developed and used by Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) across the United Kingdom.

There is an undercover accreditation process that has been developed to provide an assessment of whether the management and governance of undercover units are effective in supporting safe, ethical and lawful undercover operations.

Undercover operatives (UCOs) are deployed as covert human intelligence sources (CHIS) in authorised investigations. There are three different types of UCOs, Undercover foundation(UCFs), Undercover advanced operatives (UCAs) AND Undercover online operatives (UCOLs). All must go through vigorous training and go through a robust selection process.

Published 01/01/2020
Authoring body: College of Policing (CoP)
Critical Incident Management APP

Police have a duty to respond to every incident reported in an appropriate way and in a timely manner. A critical incident (CI) is defined as:

any incident where the effectiveness of the police response is likely to have a significant impact on the confidence of the victim, their family and/or the community. An incident can be escalated to a CI when the police fail to meet the expectation of a victim/family and/or the community in responding to an incident.

Therefore critical incident management (CIM) is key within the police force. Different types of incidents can become critical, high profile, serious or homicide related. If the police do not respond in a timely manner to serious incidents it can result in loss of confidence by the public.

There are 3 stages to CIM:

  1. Preparing for critical incidents – considering current management structures to ensure staff are trained effectively and resources are available

  2. Managing critical incidents – identifying critical incidents early on and notified to the most appropriate person.

  3. Restoring public confidence – restoring broken confidence amongst the public by community engagement, resolution and public inquiry.

Published 01/01/2013
Authoring body: College of Policing (CoP)
National Decision Model APP

Decision-making in the Police service can be very complex. Police officers most often have to make decisions in very difficult circumstances and situations and may not have all the necessary or complete information to hand. It is also very important to note that the role that police officers play and the environment where they have to make decisions can be very complicated. Police officers and police staff are sometimes required to make decisions in circumstances where those involved deliberately mislead or try to mislead them. As a result it may not always lead to the best outcome.

Therefore to create a framework that could allow officers to base their decisions on, and allow for examination of each decision and allow for some form of standardisation in decision making the National Decision Model (NDM) was created.

At the heart of the NDM, the Code of Ethics highlighted is essential for all decision making. This gives confidence for police officers to use the NDM and reduces risk. Decision makers will be supported by their organisation where it can be shown that their decision was assessed by the NDM and the circumstances at the time, even when harm has resulted as part of the decision making process.

Published 01/12/2014
Authoring body: College of Policing (CoP)
Civil Emergencies APP

Civil emergencies require a professional and structured response to all emergencies, this includes Police, fire and ambulance services and must meet the Civil Contingencies Act 2004. These services must have interoperable arrangements to allow for well-coordinated responses to major or complex incidents, as this would affect life.

This document helps to cover contingency planning and responses to civil emergences from the Police service.

Some major incidents may result in loss of life. Disaster victim identification (DVI) is the process of being able to identify a deceased in multiple fatality incidents. This involves combining antemortem and post-mortem examinations to make a positive identification using scientific means. This takes place at the same time an investigation is being undertaken.  DVI is an internationally accepter terms is and its principles are subject to international agreement through INTERPOL.

Published 01/01/2020
Authoring body: College of Policing (CoP)
Operations Command and Control APP

The Command and Control (C&C) solution is the incident management and deployment solution for police officers responding to incidents reports by the public. Command and control is the authority and capability of an organisation to direct the actions of its personnel and the use of its equipment.

Incidents are usually graded based on severity of the incident and officers have Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) target in responding to incidents especially serious/critical incidents. SLA’s may differ from police force. C&C can also be used for a wide range of scenarios ranging from policing local community events, to responding to a major criminal investigation such as a terrorist attack, arson attack requiring several officers to respond to more sensitive investigations such as a rape incident requiring more specialised officers.

There are times where certain incidents or operations where the police response requires a different approach and it may be necessary to establish a dedicated command structure such as bronze, silver and gold.

Published 01/01/2021
Authoring body: College of Policing (CoP)
Major Investigation and Public Protection APP

The success of any major incident coordination requires an organised, professional and methodical approach. The Major Room Incident (MIR) is critical to this coordination as this is where all information is gathered and analysed for response coordination.

Major investigation and public protection has many strands and arms. It consists of:

Major Crime:

  • Child abuse

  • Child sexual exploitation

  • Domestic abuse

  • Female genital mutilation

  • Firearms licensing

  • Forced marriage and honour-based violence

  • Gangs and youth violence

  • Gun crime

  • Hate crime

  • Homicide

  • Kidnap and extortion

  • Knife crime

  • Missing persons

  • Modern slavery

  • Prostitution

  • Rape and sexual offences

  • Stalking or harassment

  • Vulnerable adults

  • Operation Hydrant

Public protection:

  • Mental health

  • Managing sexual offenders

It also has major elements of mental health. The Mental health Authorised Professional Practice (APP) has provided guidance on Police response to members of the public who are experiencing mental ill health, have learning disabilities and mental and emotional vulnerable individuals. The guidance applies whether the police are acting in a criminal justice or health care capacity or in both of these roles. 

Published 01/01/2020
Authoring body: College of Policing (CoP)
Post-Incident Procedures following Death or Serious Injury APP

There are incidents that take place where the police respond to a serious injury/incident or where there is a deceased or where at a later time the victim dies. This APP – describes the post-incident procedures, management, welfare and legal issues stemming from serious incidents.

The guidance outlines provision of accounts by officers and staff, provides responsibilities for key roles, and sets out approaches to organisational learning and debriefing. The information provided is relevant to any investigation, whether carried out by the force’s professional standards department (PSD) or by the relevant independent investigative authority (IIA).

It is the responsibility of each force to determine how the post-incident procedures will be implemented and should therefore create an implementation plan showing how each area, roles and responsibilities will be fulfilled. This should include any training plans needed for individuals carrying out specific roles.

Where serious injury or death has resulted in the discharge of a firearm by a police officer or member of police staff, this guidance will not apply. Please refer to APP Armed Policing.

It is important to note that a serious injury is referred to as a fracture, deep cut, deep laceration or injury causing damage to an internal organ or the impairment of any bodily function.

Published 01/01/2020
Authoring body: College of Policing (CoP)
Government Network Policy Changes

The Public Services Network (PSN) provides technical policies regarding the operation of its network. This provides a high-level guidance for the way in which government networks, as a whole should be managed.

The policies aim to create a simple mechanism for managing network services in government. The objectives of the policies are to:

  • operate the PSN as a single OFFICIAL network enabling services to be consumed from both the Assured and Protected networks.

  • enable the use of cloud email services that meet specific security standards for government email.

  • bring PSN and other government Domain Name System (DNS) services into line with best practice.  

Email feedback to 

Published 13/03/2017
Authoring body: Government Digital Services (GDS)
Application Development

This guidance gives practical advice on the secure development, procurement and deployment of generic applications.

There are three types of common security issues:

  1. Secure data handling

  2. Application hardening

  3. Third party applications

This guidance is written main for risk assessors and application developers on how to minimise the loss of data from applications running on all devices handling sensitive data. Sensitive information should not be stored on devices when it's not required. If it must be stored on a device, a native data storage protection APIs (Application Programming Interface) available on the platform must be utilised. You must also ensure that the applications allows administrators to delete sensitive data from devices if they are compromised or lost and encrypt sensitive information when stored, protected by an authentication mechanism.

You must also securely implement cryptographic functions and store sensitive information securely, and hide it from the user until they have been authenticated and ensure that sessions timeout periodically and require the user or application to repeat the authentication process and where possible manage user accounts centrally.

Published 01/01/2018
Authoring body: National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)
End user device (EUD) Security Guidance Windows 10 1809

This guidance covers the deployment of a range of end user device platforms for the secure configuration of Windows 10 1809. Risk owners and administrators should agree a configuration which balances business requirements, usability and security.

  • Protective Monitoring Solution: All data should be routed over a secure enterprise VPN to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of the traffic. This also allows the devices, and data on them, to be protected.

  • Applications should be authorised by an administrator and deployed via a trusted mechanism.

  • Most users should have accounts with no administrative privileges.  Administrator accounts should have a unique strong password per device.

Testing was performed on a Windows Hardware Certified device, running Windows 10 Enterprise. This guidance is not applicable to Windows devices managed via an MDM or Windows To Go. 

This guidance is not applicable to Windows devices managed via an MDM or Windows To Go. 

Risk owners and administrators should agree a configuration, which balances business requirements, usability and security.

Published 01/01/2020
Authoring body: National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)