The diverse work we do and the clients we work with means that we have to deal with a wide range of terminology, acronyms and jargon. These can often be of relevance to another field – using military terminology in civilian search operations, for example, but some explanation is necessary.
The list below is not exhaustive, and we will add to it as necessary. If you have any suggestions then please get in touch with us directly.
AFO – Authorised Firearms Officer
ANPR – Automatic Number Plate Recognition
ARV – Armed Response Vehicle
ASU – Air Support Unit
Expert Halo – Blindly following a leader without conducting personal risk assessments due to their perceived status and capabilities. One of 6 ‘heuristic traps’ identified by Ian McCammon in considering risk in an outdoor context, especially with reference to avalanche risk assessment.
Hindsight Bias – AKA the ‘knew it all along’ effect. An inclination to believe, after the event has occurred, that it was predictable and could have been mitigated against.
ISR/ISTAR – Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, Reconnaissance. Variations of this acronym are used by several forces and organisations and have broadly similar roles. It may refer to an operational role, a defined unit or a specification for a certain operation.
OCU – Operational Command Unit (Metropolitan Police)
OP – Observation Point/Post
OpFor – Opposing Force, the role of the ‘enemy’ played in an exercise scenario.
ORBAT – Order of Battle. Description and understanding of the hierarchical organisation of both friendly and enemy units, strength, dispersal and command structures.
R.I.C.E – Reward, Ideology, Coercion, Ego. One of the defined frameworks for universal persuasion of a subject, often referred to within the context of espionage.
Sensitive Site Exploitation – AKA Tactical Site Exploitation or simply Site Exploitation. Often defined as
“collecting information, material, and persons from a designated location and analyzing them to answer information requirements, facilitate subsequent operations, or support criminal prosecution.”
STA – Surveillance and Target Acquistion. A military role assigned to units and/or their equipment
Violence of Action – Most often used within the context of combat, particularly CQC (Close Quarters Combat) and dynamic entry teams from military and law enforcement. A sudden and unrestricted use of speed, strength and surprise to overwhelm an enemy in a short period. Can also be used to emphasise urgency in survival situations.