Crime Prevention and Community Safety

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 79–101 | Cite as

Improving problem-oriented policing: The need for a new model?

  • Aiden SidebottomEmail author
  • Nick Tilley
Original Article


Problem-oriented policing is widely advocated in both the United States and United Kingdom. Evidence suggests it is an effective means of tackling substantive crime and disorder problems. Despite its appeal, recurrent difficulties have been encountered trying to implement and mainstream the problem-oriented approach. Several problem-solving models have been developed to translate the basic concept of problem orientation into routine practices. This article reports the findings of an exploratory study which sought to review the dominant problem-solving models used by police and partnership agencies in Britain. Using data gathered from a convenience sample of 203 practitioners, we examine the extent to which each model is used and chart their respective strengths and weaknesses. We finish with a discussion of the implications of the findings drawing on research from other problem-solving domains, and offer some potential avenues for further improving problem-oriented work.


crime prevention problem-oriented policing problem solving SARA 



This research was funded by the Home Office. We thank Alex Birtwistle, John Chadwick and Darren Kristiansen for their continued help throughout this project. We also thank Karen Bullock, John Eck, Peter Guillaume, Neil Henson, Johannes Knutsson, Gloria Laycock, Mike Scott and two anonymous reviewers for commenting on earlier drafts of this article.


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UCL Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science, University College LondonLondonUK

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