Intelligence Support to Law Enforcement: Untangling the Gordian Knot
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Computer and Security Science / Centre for Security Research
A review of the literature on intelligence in the law enforcement environment will return information on “intelligence led policing”, crime intelligence, crime analysis or it may lead us to “problem orientated policing”. All of which mean quite different things all be it, there may be commonality of objective. Why is it, the law enforcement community continues to struggle with both defining intelligence and just how intelligence supports the law enforcement function? This paper seeks to tease out what intelligence means to law enforcement. Intelligence as a function, process and a product is broadly understood within the military and wider national security community. Nevertheless the literature appears to suggest that this is not the case within law enforcement. Evidence is perceived as the key in law enforcement as it is evidence that leads to conviction. Intelligence is not evidence however it can contribute to the discovery of evidence. Is it this that generates a response to intelligence varying from ambivalence to antipathy through to acceptance? Understanding these issues is important if law enforcement is to exploit intelligence effectively and appropriately.