The presence of shocked regions in the narrow-line region (NLR) of active galactic nuclei (AGN) is discussed. Their effect on the physical conditions, in addition to photoionization from the central radiation source, is analyzed. We show that composite models, accounting for both shocks and photoionization, provide a consistent picture of the NLR which accounts for the observed emission-line and continuum spectra and is in agreement with the AGN unified model. The study of a particular object, NGC 5252, strengthens these results. It also shows that, besides explaining the observational data, the models make predictions that can be tested by infrared, optical, and X-ray imaging.