Sara Problem Solving

Since then crime has more than halved on the network (almost 30,000 fewer crimes each year) despite significant increases in passenger journeys (Fig.

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This short contribution outlines the way in which SARA has been used and further developed by Transport for London (Tf L, the strategic transport authority for London) and its policing partners—the Metropolitan Police Service, British Transport Police and City of London Police.

Led by Tf L, they have been using POP techniques to deal with crime and disorder issues on the network, with some success.

) and the implementation of an intranet based library.

The adapted approach also resonates with practitioners because it builds on the well-established SARA process but brings additional focus to prioritising issues and optimising resources.

Tf L’s problem-solving projects have been shortlisted on three occasions for the Goldstein Award, an international award that recognises excellence in POP initiatives, winning twice in 20 (see Goldstein Award Winners ).

Crime levels on the transport system are derived from a regular and consistent data extract from the Metropolitan Police Service and British Transport Police crime recording systems.

SARA is the acronym for Scanning, Analysis, Response and Assessment.

It is essentially a rational method to systematically identify and analyse problems, develop specific responses to individual problems and subsequently assess whether the response has been successful (Weisburd et al. A number of police agencies around the world use this approach, although its implementation has been patchy, has often not been sustained and is particularly vulnerable to changes in the commitment of senior staff and lack of organisational support (Scott and Kirby ).

Table The processes supporting delivery utilise existing well established practices used by Tf L and its partners.

These include Transtat (the joint Tf L/MPS version of the ‘Comp Stat’ performance management process for transport policing), a strategic tasking meeting (where the ‘P’ in SPATIAL is particularly explored) and an Operations Hub which provides deployment oversight and command and control services for Tf L’s on-street resources.


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