Here are a few basics that any Police Chief needs to know when making decisions about implementing Intelligence Led Policing.
1. Information and intelligence are two different things. If your intelligence staff don’t know the difference, you may want find staff who do.
2. Intelligence led policing is not about making pretty pictures with your crime data. Unless you are using information gathered from both overt and covert collection your picture will always be a distorted one.
3. An analyst is a specialised role. They should be able to work with crime data and intelligence and should have access to both. Recognise and reward their expertise. Too many sworn officers fail to understand or recognise their worth.
4. Make sure you have fully accountable processes for all your collection activities. You must have authorisation processes to sanction collection and that address privacy, human rights and civil liberties.
5. Train your staff. How will they know about intelligence, if they have not been taught? And that includes your managers!
6. Be wary about what people tell you computers can do. There is some good software out there, but software is only a tool, not the answer. Rarely will criminals post their intentions on the internet. Information collected on the internet is only a help.
7. Intelligence led policing works – if you understand it and do it right. If you need help just ask.
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