Intelligence-Led Policing: Security, Intelligence, Policy

Subject: Law
Pages: 17
Words: 4453
Reading time:
14 min
Study level: College

The intelligence-led policing was a model that was employed to ensure that there is an intelligence-crime reduction which was based on three processes to realize this. They included: law enforcement to interpret the criminal environment, the influence of the decision makers and the decision makers’ impact on the criminal environment. The main objective of the Intelligence-led policy was to enable easier and effective strategies in dealing with the crime environment. However it was stated by the decision maker that there is still lack of understanding concerning the intelligence-led policing at the leadership level of the organization and the role of the model was not yet known by the police department.

However the model has been observed to have gained power in many countries where the police departments are utilizing the intelligence-led policing to enhance their roles in dealing with crime. For instance, the Intelligence Working Group has impacted a big role in the National Intelligence Sharing Plan, by supporting the intelligence-led policing and the countries that employs the model in their police departments. Some of the countries that have absorbed this model in their police system are England and Wales, in which the British government has gone a step further and it has implemented a registration that requires that every police department have the National Intelligence model incorporated in it. Similarly, in Australia, every police department has an “intelligence-led” or “intelligence-driven” practice and posted on their website and they have strategic plans that are viewed to lead them to better implementation of intelligence-led policing in totality in all their departments. As a result it is clearly being evidenced that with time, the intelligence-led policing will be adopted in the modern bodies of law enforcement and become a significant paradigm.

However, the intelligence-led policing exercised currently have difficulties since only few models in it are documented. Some of the models in it have brought a misunderstanding to the law enforcement departments as they very few to be similar to those that were practiced before, such as the “ zero-tolerance policing” and “ community policing” which have made the involved department to assume they know what they entail, hence missing the change needed in the old policing styles. As a result this has resulted to a failure in the real engagement since potentially valuable ideas can become a good source of confusion in communication by agencies in an attempt to communicate innovations from one body to another.

In addition it can as well result to problems in the police department when new ideas are being communicated to the departments and to the workforce. This has indicated that despite the diffusion of the intelligence-led policing to the police force, the police officers still don’t understand the analysts function in an intelligence-led environment. The police departments have been functioning on the old approach of criminal world which is under a new name of intelligence-led policing. Any operation is of the older policy, but ironically the police officers seem not to notice the difference. Therefore there needs to be a way in which this intelligence-led rhetoric can be converted to a real practical intelligence-led policing.

The question that would then arise is what are the intelligence led policing?

According to Ratcliffe, the intelligence-led policing is a “business model and managerial philosophy where data analysis and crime intelligence are pivotal to an objective, decision-making framework that facilitates crime and problem reduction, disruption and prevention through both strategic management and effective enforcement strategies that target prolific and serious offenders”. The traditional method proved unable to deal with the important aspects of the criminal environment which are necessary to identify the offenders or the cause of criminal behaviors.

Therefore the intelligence-led policing seeks to introduce ways of dealing with the world of integrated crime with approach that could agree with the crime tactics and patterns. The intelligence-led policing created the awareness that trying to understand the world of crime alone will not significantly reduce the criminals activities but instead come out with a strategy that will enable identification of the aspects behind the crime, such as the environmental contribution to the crime, the offender, the cause of the crime together with other networked aspects could be a more appropriate way of dealing with the crime involvement. Information regarding this crime related issues were seen as the primary steps in crime reduction.

Unlike other strategies, the intelligence-led policing focuses its attention to the criminal or the offenders and to attain the information needed it encourages surveillance and the use of other informants to gather the information from the sources that otherwise would never come to the attention of police. However in some aspects the intelligence-led policing shares similarity with other strategies in convincing the police officers that an intelligence-driven approach to crime control will be effective if based on crime analysis. However, the problem involved in implementation of the intelligence strategy is the recurring resistance by the police officers who are resistant to change for the fear that the technology will impact to the system and the clarity needed in dealing with the new systems. This is because the officers are used to the old system and as far as the new system is concerned, the can be considered illiterate. They lack the knowledge of using the new method and as a result they become resistant to its implementation due to fear of accountability in whatever they do. In addition the inflexibility of the police culture has also hindered proper imposition of this model in police departments. Therefore, even when there is a willingness to adopt any new idea doubt in the institution concerning how they will define the organization in regard to the mechanisms of converting the new information into crime reduction contributes to resistance of readily accepting the idea.

In adopting knowledge based policing, the police department has to understand the serious and prolific offender and what facilitates the action carried out by the criminal. As a result, in a problem-oriented approach, the right officer will be used to deal with the right activity. The problem oriented approach involves, noting that the presently modish target setting, monitoring and comparative performing, which steers the police towards a centrally specified activity and objective rather than the problems as they emerge. This is an approach that will guide the police to the specific problem they are dealing with and the specific location to carry out the operation as well as the specific time to do the same. In addition, this model will help in identifying the specific police department to deal with the situation and avoid waste of time as well as resources. This is so because the organizational framework comprises of mixed criminal intelligence analysts and performing management hence any decision making in employing intelligence staff effectively in dealing with different crimes by decision makers, is more than not difficult.

The use of the crime data to strategically target the resource is a critical aspect in perfecting the problem-oriented policy. The driving force behind the intelligence-led policing model enables using the crime data to interpret the environment and ultimate take action against criminal behavior. As a result it promises effectiveness in the police cases of dealing with the crime issues. The compiled date concerning repeated activities of the crime as well as their occurrences helps in determining the trend of the crime and hence the tactics used to perform the crime. This is in understanding that similar crimes will likely have the same or closely related tactics and understanding it will enable quick identification, arrest and prosecution of the offender.

However this model has its related problems associated with it. The ability of the intelligence that has been enhanced by the research has been known as a sector of rejection in police department. This has been attributed to the fact that the employing of this model in police departments will need the police officers to become deep thinkers and intensive analyzers of the data. This is because their decisions will greatly determine the effectiveness and success of the model. In addition, the crime data are more than just mere disorders that occur in the society but instead the information the police system holds concerning the crime environment have to be put into regular and routine use rather than just compiling statistic from the uniform crime report. Every single detail in the crime information is important in determining the quality of the offender involved and as a result, the necessary importance in evaluating the data is critical to obtain required outcome.

In making the intelligence-led policy successful, several drivers have to be incorporated in the police system. They include the technology or digital application, police accountability as well as the community involvement. On digitalization, use of detective gadgets is very important in identifying criminals and crime scenes faster and effective. In addition the stored information in digitalized system will enable all departments to access the information hence deal with the matter more effectively.

The intelligence-led policing have also identified the importance of networking its systems for effective obtaining of information regarding the society that in itself is unable to gather. This has enabled the department to link its network with other non-police organization that has access to information regarding the society such as census organization. This organization, together with others which relate deeply by the societal occurrences hold important information that when combined with the crime information in the police department can result into useful guidelines in detecting the trouble-shooting parties in the society. However, this link has associated problems with it. For instance, when the networked system is extended beyond the police border, the leakage of the information will likely be experience which can result to more intensive criminal tactics evolving in avoiding the police strategies in dealing with the existing one. Moreover, it as well creates a risk in the society because the criminal may use force to access the police information from the non-police organization linkage, either by forcing the staffs involved to give out information they know or forcefully obtaining the information themselves. However, since the criminal tactics are improving as the technology improves, implementing more intensive and technology oriented approaches in dealing with the police problems will be more helpful.

On the other hand the intelligence-led policing have created a ground on which police officers are required to be answerable and accountable for their actions. Unlike the old approach where the police action were not held into accountability due to lack of solid evidence, the intensive-led policing enables this to happen through digitalization of the police activities. This has left the police to look forward in improving their knowledge concerning how they deal with the offenders and the situations. For instance, unlike the old approach which enabled the police to arrest any suspect and get the information later, the intelligence-led policing has enabled acquisition of information in totality and hence move in reaction and with proper the target to the offender at the right time and at the right place. This has given a rise to emergence of knowledge based police. The police department have recognized the need of dealing with the crime in totality rather than dealing with the part of crime and leaving the other part to flourish and at the end affecting the already dealt with part.

This is so because, the earlier approach in dealing with offenses gave a chance of dealing with the crime itself by concentrating more on what is happening rather than what contributes to the happening. As a result the same problem kept recurring now and then and lack of progression in police department. However, the intelligence-led policing has emphasized on evaluating the information, close communication between the intelligence workers and decision makers in both the intelligence findings and the potential strategies that might be employed to combat the crimes from the root. This has been made clear by the model in defining the importance of crime data analysis before moving to the action of crime eradication. This has a big impact of enabling that innocent parties are not affected by lack of proper information concerning the crime as well as ensuring that the offender does not evade the justice since solid evidences are by then clearly achieve and stated.

As a result intensive training has been embarked to equip the officer with the right knowledge concerning how to approach the situation. Knowledge based police has a lot of impact on the security provision of a country and its citizens. This ensures that the organs in charge with the provision of security shall not fail since the organs in charge with this duty plan or act in accordance to their specific roles. Therefore by use of that knowledge, a state will base its national policy on that structure. However some aspects which are considered unnecessary shall be excluded from the policy since they fail to provide the specified knowledge on security as desired. Knowledge that is locally based on domestic or internal affairs is usually left out; secondly, knowledge based on the functions of the police is also left out. After that the phrase “positive” is adopted to denote the intelligence in focus is not counter- intelligence or any other type of intelligence that is usually designed to expose internal traitors or agents.

Therefore as the high level national policy is being formulated only the knowledge that is important to our welfare and security is adopted into the policy. The phrase “high level” is used to symbolize combat and strategic intelligence. Thus, this knowledge is very vital in the provision of security and defense to our country which is both constructive, since it can be used for the maintenance of peace and social security while at the same time it can be used as a defensive mechanism in times of war or a threat to security. This knowledge has to be acquired through a lot of vigorous processes some of which may be clandestine. The knowledge based police have also made impacts on the way information is collected and analyzed. Therefore all information whether collected for a long time or is current is very vital as it will be used to determine and analyze future patterns of security and enable one to come up with measures to deal with any eventualities. In addition the way that foreign based intelligence is collected has a lot of impact on the knowledge based policing.

Different types of intelligence are always coming up and the security organs have to be at par with the information. Therefore, foreign based information shall be treated in a human nature that deserves the attention of substance of humanity hence numerous listing of humanity components which is done either alphabetically or topically. In addition the knowledge gathered has impacted the way the way information is collected and analyzed. In addition, amendments have been called for to ensure that the current laws do agree with the requirements of the intelligence-led policing. In considering imposition of any law or regulation in the police department, a requirement that the system should be within the intelligence-drive, which enables the implementation of laws that limits the police activities on crimes alone is given the first consideration. Also, the traditional approaches are being replaced by more effective strategies that are considered more successful in dealing with crime matter in totality.

This has give raise to better use of the police resources in a way that will not be too extravagant to create misuse and exploitation of people neither too rigid to fail addressing important issues. From the police department, staffs- according to their hierarchy, the police systems as well as the available data can be considered the most important resource in policing. Appropriate use of the right department in dealing with certain issues as well as in the right way is one key factor that have been addressed in the intelligence-led policing. This is more influenced by the training the police officers acquire. This provides a mechanism with a more objective understanding of the criminal environment and the best way to tackle it. The training and proper use of the correct department enables the intelligence to interpret the criminal environment hence understanding it as well as influence the decision-makers whose decisions are the vehicle needed to create impact to the environment. This will as a result influence better usage of the systems and the criminal analysts who will be more effective in analyzing the information and enhancing proper implementation of the strategies. In addition a model suitable for enhancing proper utilization of police resources in improving the quality of policing in reducing crime has created an optimistic environment in enhancement of utilization of resources.

This is the National Intelligence Model (NIM) which was adopted by the British, on recognition that modern law enforcement needs a more intensive system to deal with and confrontation from the complex criminal environment as well as to manage the risks as effective as possible. This model’s aimed at describing the methods to be used in identifying priorities, methods of managerial decision-making at every police organization, level the activities of standard intelligence as well as describing the range of the products. Although the NIM model functions as a business model it is a model imposed onto different systems of varying quality. However, there is still lacking evidence in confirming that the model enhances the broader policing function and subsequently reduces criminality. Despite this there is hope that NIM will improve the quality of police activities which will contribute much to the reduction of crime.

“Unlike other agencies which views intelligence as a product and that the intelligence system is what supports the process of the creation of these intelligence products, NIM sees intelligence as a model with inputs as well as with outcomes.” Ruth quotes that “On a broader view intelligence system sees intelligence as a product, a process and as a structure. Moreover, since some departments can be scrapped off from the police organization such as the decision-makers from the intelligence practitioners either physically or organizationally, there emerges a need of creating an intelligence product that can be delivered to a client.”

The NIM was purposed in supporting intelligence-led policing with more emphasis on using criminal intelligence analysis as the objective decision-which will enable crime reduction as well as prevention through effective policing strategies as well as external partnership which boosts the resources utilization in a more appropriate way.

Community involvement has also been seen to hold beneficial outcomes from reducing the gap between the police and those policed. This is an activity that has offered significant assistance in dealing with crime by providing police with necessary information that they would likely fail to obtain on their own. This has been greatly viewed to be successful through conducting of police-community meetings. However, the problems that have been associated with this includes: lack of clarity over what function the meeting should perform- whether to encourage members to report crimes and disorder to the police, request the members to assist police in defining local priorities or police reporting to the members their activities; moreover, only certain groups attend the meetings on regular basis and this contributes to failure of providing genuine democratic input into the policing while the police views this as a ritualized activity, hence ignoring performance of genuine operational function.

However, the interactions do benefit the police department, besides acquiring information from the people but also in understanding the environment in relation to the crime. For instance, they understand the incidents that shape how people think, feel, or act in relation to their security, understand why people are doing this, concerning the kind of reactions generated by this problems, where these troublesome incidents are located, when they are taking place, who is causing the signal events as well as the magnitude of the importance of the different issues within the neighborhood in relation to each other. As a result, this police-community will bring the matter concerning the “risk society” closer to the police, providing the information necessary in dealing with the root of the crime in a more appropriate way.

There are numerous risks of broadening and narrowing the role of police in the knowledge based policing. There are various variations in the structure of intelligence due to variations of the system which is inconsistent. Therefore the system lacks uniformity and thus there is lack of ability for the stakeholders to compare the initiated working practices and point out areas that are in need of corrections or adoption into other districts by the police. In addition the intelligence collected is usually very broad and different from unit to unit and hence when the system is broad, the implementation of such programs becomes very difficult and expensive.

For this reason due to the broadening of the system, locally implemented programs which maybe successful may translate to failures in other units or may give inconsistent results resulting in knowledge and intelligence which is very variable and cannot be used to formulate a concrete national policy. Due to this inconsistency, the difference brought about by the system broadens the type of intelligence and knowledge which translates to broadening and hampering the success of knowledge based policing in programs such as staff training and implementation of new efficient programs into the system. Furthermore, due to lack of uniform structure, intelligence products and practices cannot be adopted uniformly across the intelligence organs and programs such as, staff transfers are bound to result in adverse effects on the staff due to the rift in the program rendering the process futile.

As a result the capability of the intelligence organs to analyze the criminal patterns for example, emerging criminal patterns and behaviors will be curtailed as information gathered and analyzed by one organ may not be sufficiently communicated to other organs of intelligence. As a consequence, there is lack of a historical data in the knowledge based policing that results from broadening the activities of the system. In addition future criminal and security activities cannot be sufficiently analyzed as there lacks data that is consistent.

As the intelligence world changes every time, the policing organs will be unable to cope with this as local problems found in a certain regions will remain their domestic problems and other regions cannot be able to anticipate such situations and deal with them appropriately. This has resulted in new threats against security and peace coming up, which other intelligence organs may fail to notice and rectify. Furthermore, there has been increased misunderstanding among the intelligence services and community policing both in domestic and foreign circles making the role of the executive administration very difficult as they cannot draw up uniform policies to be adopted by the intelligence services.

The understanding of other countries policing strategies through networking proves to have a lot of benefit among them including security enhancement within and between the countries involved. For instance, where the governance network is enhanced, any law enforcement in one country will put into consideration the policing of the other countries. This will create uniformity on the decision making in these governments and similar strategies in dealing with crime a factor which will enable prevention of leakage of one nations’ vice due to their different policing to other country. In addition, this will help borrowing and incorporations of useful strategies from other governments into the one in question. The friendliness created between the governments will reduce any kind of terrorism from either country, great enhancement of peace that is strived to be attained by many governments.

In conclusion, it is very vital for intelligence organs and the knowledge- led organs to accept that the concept is very dynamic and may face a lot of challenges in its inception into the knowledge based policing. The challenges identified should be worked on both locally and in foreign practices to achieve harmony in the system. Where the system fails to achieve its mandate, other avenues should be sought and incorporated to make the process a success.

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