NIM and intelligence

NIM and statistics

Job descriptions


Dysfunction of NIM

The role of Principal Analysts

Legal Status of NIM

What then must be done?

Joe's Telex


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About this website

Intelligence analysis is not difficult to understand. In principle, it's like sorting out a huge tube of smarties: the intelligence analyst takes out everything known or suspected about person Red and places it in one pile; everything relating to person Blue in another; and everything connected to Green in a third; and so on. Most smarties will not be of any discernable colour, so the analyst will either put them back in the tube or add them, with caveats, to the prospective piles.

This is an illustration of the principle:

On the left are the many data sources from which the intelligence analyst can draw information: personal data; crime reports; telephone billings; public information; informant information; and so on. Each one of these categories breaks down further; for instance, crime reports into premises targeted, property stolen, and means of entry. These categories subdivide: stolen property into electronic goods, cash and jewellery, etc. Yet again, these divide; jewellery between gold and gold plate.

In the middle of the diagram is the intelligence analyst. The intelligence analyst takes the information out of the boxes on the left, reassembles it according to offender, and puts it in the boxes on the right or, to be more precise, discovers the boxes on the right. These boxes relate to offenders and represent the intelligence.

An example of the difference between information stored on the left and intelligence on the right is as follows:

- An offender snatches a handbag off a pensioner in the street. This is recorded as a theft
- The same offender follows a pensioner home, enters through an insecure door and steals a handbag off a side table. This is classified as burglary, since it takes place in the victim's home
- The offender then snatches a handbag from another pensioner in the street, who resists. The offender gives a shove and runs off. This is crimed as robbery, because there is physical contact

The three crimes are recorded differently according to crime type, i.e. theft, burglary or robbery. But the crimes are linked because they are committed by the same offender. To get from crime stored as types (information) to a linked series (intelligence), the intelligence analyst must extract the information from law enforcement's administration boxes by reference to the criminal's activity and description. The resulting intelligence is represented typically by a written report, supplemented by a link chart, which explains why the pieces of information are believed to link.

So, the question arises: if the principle is so simple, why does law enforcement make such a dog's dinner of it? Answering this question is the purpose of this website.

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