The Strategic Constable

Research Institution / Organisation

University of Portsmouth

Principal Researcher

M J Taylor M Sc (Dist.)

Level of Research


Project Start Date

October 2017

Research Context

The development of a sensible decision-making model for Policing within a democratic and pluralistic society is long overdue. Using academic arguments of naturalistic and rationale thinking in decision-making, the article proposes Boyd’s updated C-OODA loop as the overarching model to deliver the process driven needs of the UK’s National Intelligence Model.

The OODA loop is a militaristic inspired model, with a self-perpetuating loop of decision making and learning for the individual and the organisation, with a ‘gimbal’ as the overarching guidance control.  A ‘gimbal’ which delivers the first ever deliberation for ‘rules of engagement’ in Policing to secure ethical outcomes, termed the ‘Strategic Constable’. Good governance enables yet restrains the policing pyramid at all levels of the ‘Constable’ providing a clear insight into the theory and delivery of ethical outcomes in intelligence led and criminal investigations with the implications this may have for policing using the emergent concepts from US military thinking.

The study is underpinned by abduction theory to prove the following:

  1. COP NDM CIAPOAR is or is not a decision-making tool, if it is considered to be a decision-making tool then the study may move forward in discovering: 
  2. NDM CIAPOAR is or is not able to regulate professional judgement and deliver ethical outcomes as a decision-making model. An opposing position can be inferred from either: 
  3. Alternative located models should hold the inference they are or are not a decision-making tool(s), if it is considered to be a decision-making tool(s), then: 
  4. They are or are not able to regulate professional judgement and deliver ethical outcomes as a decision-making model.

Research Methodology

The proposed field of study will be a qualitative exploration of the decision-making within the tiers of policing relating to the police NDM decision model. The study will additionally be seeking views and opinions of expert outside sources (EOS) in this regard. EOS represents, academician, investigative journalists, judiciary and finally victim support groups. The aim is to discover any additional models from contributors internally or externally, not previously located by the study and their thoughts on the study’s model, in order to establish their value for policing choices and their ability to deliver professional judgement in policing in order to infer the best outcomes. Purposive sampling with a selection process based on the participants’ experiences within Policing supported by organisational collaborators as gatekeepers within the nominated organisations will be employed. Approximately 30 – 36 participants will be recruited for the study as well as the EOS holding experience in analysis of police decision making.

Interim reports and publications

M Taylor; The 'Strategic Constable': A new police decision making model; Policing Insight; 4th July 2017

Date due for completion

March 2022
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