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The National Decision Model

What models do police officers use to assist in decision making?
We’ve now had the opportunity to look at the types of different situations that police are called to both crime related and non crime related. As you can see that police officers are often confronted with fast-moving, complex situations which require immediate decisions to be made. In these difficult circumstances, they’re often in very much quick time and open to challenge. A split-second decision made by a police officer may often be the subject of intense scrutiny during maybe a judicial process or even sometimes at a public inquiry. How do police officers go about making those decisions or what framework supports them. As you can see in front of you, there’s a slide which is titled the national decision model.
To assist police officers, the national decision model was introduced to aid the decision-making process. It provides a structured framework which assists in the professional judgment necessary to make those effective decisions. It should be a key component of a police officers mindset and without it, vital factors could be missed. This could even have a significant impact on any critical decision that it’s got to be made. The national decision model is nationally recognized by the college of policing as a decision-making tool. Using it will not guarantee that wrongful decisions are not made, but if officers have an understanding and practice using the model, it will very much help them to develop their professional judgment.
As a police officer, you’re often asked to make decisions in dynamically stressful situations where perhaps people’s lives are at stake. It will not always be possible to have the information before you to make those decisions. That said, you can’t show that you use to recognize structure within the national decision model to minimize those risks and to justify your decisions. Let’s have a look at how it’s structured and as you can see, there are six key elements. If you look at the slide, you will see that.
A police officer should consider each of those elements using this model and it should be considered as a wheel that’s constantly spinning and it’s a continual process because as you’re dealing with instant, more information may come to light, which might want you to reassess how you can approach it. The thing that sets this model apart from other models is the fact it has a code of ethics, very much of the heart with police decision-making. We’ve been through some of those code of ethics earlier on within this. But as we know, the code of ethics sets out the principles and standards of behavior that will promote, reinforce the sport, the high standards from everyone who works in policing.
When we’re talking about the code of ethics in a decision-making, we’d want the officer to ask themselves, is what I’m about to do consistent with those code of ethics? What would the victim and community expect of me? What does the police service expect of me? Is this action or decision would like me to reflect positively on me and the police service. Would my actions stand up to close scrutiny? Could I talk publicly about the service, the code of ethics at the center of the model. We then come around to the gathering information and intelligence.
Police officers need as much information and intelligence as possible to enable them to assess things like the threat, the risk, which will enable them to develop a strategy. You need to consider things like, do I fully understand the situation? What do I know, and probably more importantly, what don’t I know? What do I need to know to respond effectively. The next part if you can go around it, is to assess the threat and risk in developing or working strategy. When people talk about policing in today’s context, they’re always talking about threat, and risk, and harm.
But you need to gather all the available information and intelligence that you’d want to be able to assess that threatened risk more accurately, which obviously relates to the safety of themselves, colleagues, and the public, and even potentially the suspects it, which is something we need to consider. A working strategies is how we are going to respond to it. We want everyone to prioritize our actions once we’ve assessed the risk posed by each individual and place them in an order of priority. Our main priorities as police officer, is preservation of life.
Powers and policy, with police officers, we must act within the law and it’s therefore important that having gained as much available information intelligence, you want to consider the legal powers available to help you effectively deal with that situation. This is particularly important when you’re considering the application of force. Element 5 is options and contingencies, to deal with most instance, there is a range of options and contingencies that officers need to consider to carry out their duty. It’s important that officers recognize that they will have to account for their actions and understand the risks attached to the optional. The chosen option must be proportionate to that perceived threat the officer faces.
The last one is the review process Element 6 here is take action review what happened. If the officers considered each element within the national decision model, this will ensure that they have fully considered all the information intelligence powers, options available to them, and hopefully allow them to make the most appropriate decision taking into account all the circumstances. Adopting the model should allow for the best possible outcome for all parties, reducing the chance of any injury and also increasing public confidence. Police officers are accountable for the decisions they make and this element allows them to implement their decisions and to review them at the appropriate time.
Hopefully this has given you an understanding of the national decision model, the framework, how it operates, and examining some of the key components and also understanding how the code of ethics is at the center of this model.
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