Each policing operation is unique - while previous, similar incidents may provide a list of objectives that can be referred to when developing a gold strategy, each operation is unique and, as such, should have its own strategy.
The gold strategy must be dynamic and capable of being constantly reassessed - information and intelligence may change over the course of an incident, as might the threat assessment, the powers that might be required and the options that are considered.
The gold strategy should be an enabler for silver commanders - silver commanders should be able to make justifiable decisions and implement tactical options that meet the overall strategy. It should not prevent a silver commander's activity.
Plain language should be used - to avoid confusion, it is essential to use plain language when writing a gold strategy as terms that are not clearly understood or explained can be misinterpreted.
The gold commander owns and is accountable for the gold strategy - this means they are accountable for its contents and any action taken in response to a specific threat.
The gold strategy should be based on all the information available at the time - while it is important that a gold strategy is defined and agreed as quickly as possible, it should be based on all the information available at the time. However, it is rare for a complete or perfect picture to exist. Commanders should, therefore, avoid waiting for any further information about the incident or operation, which may not, in any case, come to their attention.
The gold strategy and revisions/amendments should be recorded as part of an audit trail - the gold strategy should be regularly reviewed, particularly where a change or handover of command occurs.
Specialist advice may be sought by the gold commander - in certain circumstances the gold commander may wish to consult specialist advisers (eg, legal, tactical, human rights). It should be emphasised that an adviser is there to advise and not to make command decisions. The decision on whether to use an adviser, or to follow their advice, remains with the gold commander.