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The Blackstone's Products

NPPF Step 2 Legal Examination

What are the Blackstone's Police Manuals?

The Manuals are the only official reference texts for the NPPF Step 2 Legal Examination (formerly OSPRE® Part 1) for promotion to sergeant or inspector. For a full description, please visit our product information pages.

What are the Blackstone's Police Q&As?

This is an online multiple-choice question database for NPPF Step 2 Legal Examination candidates, containing only ‘Type A’ Q&As (the only type you will see in your exam). Users can choose as many subject areas as they would like to answer questions on, or choose to sit a mock exam (either a quarter, half, or full exam), and detailed feedback on performance will be given. All answers to the Q&A are explained in depth and there are cross-references to the Police Manuals so you can easily identify gaps in your knowledge and go back and revise the relevant subject area.

National Investigators' Exam

What are the Blackstone's Police Investigators’ Manual and Workbook?

The Manual and Workbook are the only official reference texts for the National Investigators’ Examination (NIE) for the police service. For a full description, please visit our product information pages.

What is the Blackstone's Police Investigators’ Q&A?

This is an online multiple-choice question database for NIE candidates, containing only 'Type A' Q&As (the only type you will see in your exam). Users can choose as many subject areas as they would like to answer questions on, or choose to sit a mock exam (either a quarter, half, or full exam), and detailed feedback on performance will be given. All answers to the Q&A are explained in depth and there are cross-references to the Manual so you can identify gaps in your knowledge and easily go back and revise the relevant subject area.

The Blackstone's Police Service Site

How can I access the Police Manuals and the Investigators’ Manual and Workbook online?

In order to access the Police Manuals or the Investigators’ Manual and Workbook online, you will need to set up a subscription. Please see our subscription section for details on the available options and to determine the best package for your exam period.

How often are the Police Manuals and the Investigators’ Manual and Workbook updated on the online service?

For NPPF Step 2 Legal Examination candidates, the online service (both the online text of the Police Manuals and the online Q&A database) is updated each year after the last exam of the previous syllabus (mid-October, after the Inspectors’ exam in early October). The print editions of the Police Manuals and the Q&As publish in August each year.

For NIE candidates, the materials are updated as per the print volumes: on an annual basis in November each year. As the Manual and Workbook must follow the NIE syllabus, we are unable to provide a more frequent updating service.

Can I try the online Police Manuals and the Investigators’ Manual and Workbook before I buy?

We are unable at present to provide trial subscriptions. Police forces and librarians can apply for free trial access for their exam candidates by contacting our Sales Manager.

Who do I contact if I have any queries?

Please visit the Contact Us page.

What does it mean when there is a vertical grey line next to the text?

The PACE Codes of Practice are now incorporated within chapters in the main body of the Blackstone's Police Manuals and Blackstone’s Investigators’ Manual. A solid grey line down the left side of the page is used to denote that the text is an extract of the PACE Code itself (i.e. the actual wording of the legislation) and does not form part of the general commentary of the chapter.

The PACE Codes of Practice form an important part of the NPPF Step 2 Legal Examination syllabus and the NIE syllabus, and are examinable for all candidates.

PLEASE NOTE: There is no 'blacklined' content within the Investigators’ Manual, as seen in the Blackstone's Police Manuals for candidates studying towards Sergeant or Inspector level.

Q&As

How many questions are there for each topic?

The number of questions for each topic varies greatly, as some areas, such as Burglary or PACE Code C, lend themselves to greater numbers of questions than, say, Blackmail or Kidnap.

When was the last update to the site?

For NPPF Step 2 Legal Examination candidates, the Q&A site is updated to the new syllabus at the end of the last Inspectors' exam each year, generally mid-October.

For NIE candidates, the Q&A site is updated to the new syllabus at the end of the last exam each year for 2021, this will be on 30th November).

Exams and syllabus

Where do I go for information about the exams and the syllabus?

General information about the exams and a link to the current syllabus can be found on the Course Information page. All exam-specific queries should be referred to the College of Policing direct.

How do the Blackstone’s Police Manuals relate to the syllabus?

The questions in the NPPF Step 2 Legal examination are based solely on the material published within the Blackstone’s Police Manuals.

Any feedback regarding content or editorial matters in this Manual please visit the Contact Us page. 

How does the Blackstone’s Police Investigators’ Manual relate to the syllabus?

The questions in the National Investigators’ Examination (NIE) are based solely on the material published within Parts One to Four of the Blackstone’s Police Investigators’ Manual. Part Five contains material for Immigration Enforcement Investigators and National Crime Agency (NCA) Investigators, whilst Part Six is for National Crime Agency (NCA) Investigators only. Please see below for further information on the different candidate groups.

Any feedback regarding content or editorial matters in this Manual please visit the Contact Us page.

For Police Investigators Candidates

All candidates taking the NIE exam are required to study the material contained in Parts One, Two, Three, and Four of the Manual only. This includes all the PACE and Disclosure Codes of Practice extracts contained in Part One—see further information on grey lined material below.

Police NIE examinations will be based solely on the material contained in Parts One to Four.

For National Crime Agency (NCA) Investigators Candidates

All NCA candidates taking the NIE are required to study the material contained in Parts One, Two, Three, and Four of the Manual. NCA candidates taking the NCA Specific Powers Examination are required to study the material contained within Parts Five and Six. These Parts cover immigration, customs, and cross-border offences.

For Immigration Enforcement (IE) Investigators Candidates

All IE candidates taking the Immigration Enforcement Investigators’ Examination are required to study the selected paragraphs contained in Parts One, Two and Five of the Manual, as laid out in the Immigration Enforcement Investigators’ Examination Rules and Syllabus.

Subscriptions

How do I subscribe?

Visit our subscription page to find out how to subscribe.

Which online subscription is the best for me?

For NPPF Step 2 Legal Examination candidates, the online service is updated with the new syllabus in October each year, once the final exam of the previous syllabus has taken place. We strongly recommend waiting until the new syllabus is available before purchasing your subscription. Those wishing to purchase a subscription early will be automatically upgraded to the new syllabus on its release in mid-October, but access to the new syllabus will not be available before then.

For NIE candidates, as there is a short period when two NIE syllabuses are available, we strongly recommend candidates who wish to subscribe to the online Manual and Workbook or Q&A purchase a subscription with the same year that their exam will be taking place. For example, if you are taking an exam in 2020, then you should purchase a subscription for the 2020 editions of the Manuals or Q&As.

National Investigators’ Examination (NIE) Candidates

What happens after the last 2020 NIE exam?

The final exam for 2021 is to be held on 30th November 2021. After this date, the 2021 Manual and Workbook will no longer be available and the Q&A will update to the 2022 syllabus. All subscribers will automatically be upgraded to the new edition if their subscription period runs past the date of the final exam of the current edition. This applies for both Manual and Workbook subscribers and those using the Q&A.

I have a 2021 subscription which is due to expire after the final exam. What happens to my subscription?

All subscribers will automatically be upgraded to the new edition if their subscription period runs past the date of the final exam of the current edition.  The final NIE exam of 2021 is to be held on 30th November 2021. This applies for both Manual and Workbook subscribers and those using the Q&A.

I am taking an exam in 2022. When can I purchase a subscription?

The new syllabus for 2022 exams will be published on 1st December 2021. If you wish to purchase a subscription to the Manual and Workbook, you can do so from this date. The online Q&A will remain on the 2021 syllabus until after the final 2021 exam (on 30th November), but will be updated with 2022 questions in early December. For this reason, Q&A and Combined (Manual, Workbook, and Q&A) subscribers are strongly advised to wait until the new syllabus is published to purchase their subscriptions.

If I subscribe now will I get immediate access to my online subscription?

Yes, you will be issued with a username and password which entitles you to access the products you've subscribed to today.

My force / institution has purchased a site licence. How do I access the Manual and Workbook / Q&A service?

Click here to go directly into the online product. If you have any problems accessing this, please call your administrator. You must to be using a computer connected to one of the force's / institution's networks to be able to access the service.

What happens when my subscription expires?

You will be notified when your subscription is due for renewal. At that time, you will be asked if you wish to renew your subscription, and will be given details of how to resubscribe.

What should I do if my contact details change?

If your contact details change, please Contact Us.

Looking for Institutional Access?

If you are a police force or university interested in setting up an institutional licence for your students, please contact our Sales Manager to explore the options.

Hints and Tips

Users of Blackstone's Police Manuals and Blackstone’s Police Investigators' Manual and Workbook

Remember that our online site has many ways to search for specific material, from the Search box to interactive tables of legislation, allowing you to find all the references to a certain Act or section in just one click.

Cross references within the Police Manuals and the Investigators’ Manual and Workbook text take you straight to the relevant section, even between volumes.

Users of Blackstone's Police Q&A and Blackstone's Investigators’ Q&A

  • Use the Q&As to highlight areas of weakness in your knowledge — target your revision.
  • Don't use the Q&As to revise or ‘learn the questions’ — study a section of the Manual and then test your knowledge and understanding with the Q&As.
  • Use the tests to consolidate your hard work — study a section, test your knowledge and understanding, then go back to the Manual to debrief your performance and revisit any problem areas.
  • Don't overuse the Mock Exam to test yourself — do a maximum of 5 Mock Exams.  Remember, you are being examined on your ability to apply the law, not just your knowledge of it.
  • Remember to read the lead-in question carefully — be sure you understand the question and answer carefully.
  • Users with Combined Subscriptions (Police Manuals/Investigator’s Manual and Workbook, and the Q&A).
  • If you have a combined subscription, use the Manual reference links in the Q&As to go straight to the text for further clarification and to identify where you may have gone right or wrong.
  • Don’t be tempted to cheat! You'll only see the Manual references once you've completed your test or Mock Exam.

Blackstone's Police Manuals Q&A Checklists

If you have purchased the Blackstone's Police Q&A books, click on the links below to find copies of the checklists designed to help you track your progress when answering the multiple-choice questions. 

Q&A Crime Checklist
Q&A Evidence and Procedure Checklist
Q&A General Police Duties Checklist
Q&A Road Policing Checklist

Searching

What search functionality is available on the site?

You can carry out a basic search by using the search box provided in the upper right-hand corner of the website. For advanced search, please go to the Advanced Search section: you can narrow your search by full text and headings, specifying whether you wish to see any or all words or phrases containing required terms.

Search results are displayed in groups of 10 per page by default. However, you can change this to 20, 50, or 100 results per page. To access a specific search result listed on a page, please click on the [Full Text] link to see the chapter or topic.

If you have any problems with the search results returned, please check the following:

  • Truncate words using the asterisk (*) to find word variations: crim* retrieves crime, crimes, criminal, etc.
  • Pay particular attention to terms containing hyphens, periods, or other punctuation.  Punctuation is ignored and letters or numbers separated by punctuation are treated as separate words: Search IL-4 with il-4 or il 4 (with a space), but not with il4 (without a space). Search mRNA with mrna, not with m-rna or m rna.
  • Avoid Greek letters, superscripts, subscripts, and other special characters.
  • If you used parentheses, make sure that they are matched.

General

Access

Where do I go to log in?

Log in here.

I have forgotten my username and password. What should I do?

If you have forgotten your username and password, please use our automated reminder service.

I am being denied access to the Blackstone's Police online services.

Are you a subscriber?

Check that you have a current subscription. The online service is a subscription only service and is therefore only available to subscribers. Find out more on our Subscribe page.

Are your username and password correct?

If you receive an error message stating a mismatch between your username and password, you may have entered the wrong details. Please try again or contact us to request that a password reminder be sent to you.

Error Message: 'You have a concurrent user licence and the maximum number of concurrent user sessions has been reached. Please contact us to increase your concurrency limit.'

This message can appear if you have not successfully logged out of your subscription before attempting to access the site again. This is often the case if you close your browser rather than first clicking on 'Logout' (found at the top right of the screen). Waiting around 20 minutes should ensure your previous session times out and you should then be able to log in again successfully. It is recommended that you always log out of sessions to ensure your access is not restricted.

Is your account on hold?

Occasionally an account is put on hold if we have not received your subscription payment, or if your subscription has expired. In such cases you should normally expect to have heard from us.  Please check your spam and junk folders, or contact us for more information.

Error: Cookies must be enabled in your browser.

Cookies are required by subscribers who have concurrent user licences of Blackstone's Police online service in order to control concurrency-based access to the service. If you see the following error message when you try to log in to the site, then you need to enable cookies and try again.

Functionality/contents problems

I have spotted an error in the Manual or the Q&A. Who should I tell?

Please contact us. We will confirm and rectify the error as soon as possible. Where possible, please supply a screenshot so that we can locate it easily on our system.

One of the cross-reference links in the text doesn't work. Who should I tell?

If a cross-reference link in an entry isn't working, please contact us. We cannot correct faulty cross-reference links immediately but it will be logged, and we will correct it as soon as possible.

What is your policy on third party data mining?

OUP recognizes the research benefit of Text and Data Mining (TDM) across a variety of research fields. As such, we are happy to accommodate TDM for non-commercial use. If you have any questions please e-mail data.mining@oup.com.

Printing

Can I print text from the Blackstone's Police online service?

Yes, you may print out material from the online service. However it is very important that you first read the Legal Notice, which includes information on printing.

How much material can I legally print out?

It is very important that you read the Legal Notice, which includes information on printing, before you print anything from our online services.

Technical questions

What are the technical requirements for using this website?

In order to access the website, you need a standard web browser such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari or Google Chrome.
You will also need an internet connection, HTML, and JavaScript support. Your operating system should be one of the following: Windows XP; Windows Vista; Windows 7; Windows 10; Mac OSX.

You will also need MS Office installed on your computer to be able to open images in PowerPoint files.

 The Blackstone’s Police products are best viewed with a screen resolution of 1024x768, although they will also work at higher and lower resolutions. Please note that some tables are wide and so require 1024x768 screen resolution.

What if I have problems accessing the website?

Please do the following:

  • Check that you are connected to the internet when you try to use the site.
  • Try going to another website. If you can't, your internet service may be experiencing problems.
  • Check that you are typing your email and password correctly.
  • Check that you are using a recommended browser. If not, try going to the website using one of the recommended browsers.
  • Check whether you are using a firewall.
  • If you do use a firewall, add https://www.blackstonespoliceservice.com to your trusted sites, also known as your whitelist. If that does not work, deactivate the firewall and then try accessing the site again. If deactivating the firewall does work, remember to activate it again when you have finished using the website.
  • Check whether you are behind a proxy server.
  • If you are, it may be blocking your access to https://www.blackstonespoliceservice.com/. Contact your system administrator and ask them to allow you access to the website.
  • Do you use security software? This may be blocking access to https://www.blackstonespoliceservice.com/.
  • Check whether you have cleared your cache recently.

Your browser cache is a temporary storage area that holds web pages that you have looked at. Getting information from the cache is usually quicker for the browser than getting it from the internet. Such decisions are made in the background and you usually do not need to be involved. However, this can mean that you do not get the most recent version of a web page. If you are finding that the website is behaving strangely, you might find that the problem is fixed by clearing (or emptying) your cache.

Do I need JavaScript?

Yes. If you need to enable JavaScript, please bear in mind that the way to do this will be different for each browser.

Accessibility

What accessibility standards does the site meet?

To help achieve our objective of excellence in research, scholarship and education and as part of our commitment to serving our customers and users, Oxford University Press is striving to make its products accessible to and inclusive of all our users, including those with visual, hearing, cognitive, or motor impairments.

Visit the Accessibility page to find out more.