The term "traditional policing" refers to policing techniques used by police departments, such as patrols, investigations, prosecutions, and immediate responses to reported criminal activities. The term generally appears as a contrast to the term "community policing."
Critics of traditional policing techniques advocate that they only address the symptoms rather than the causes of much criminal activity, resulting in a high rate of repeated criminal activities. Community policing, on the other hand, seeks to address the underlying problems, such as poverty and unemployment. Many community policing schemes include traditional policing techniques, but place the emphasis on building a safe community that reduces criminal activity, rather than solely reacting to such activity with arrests.