In the past few days, I heard a high-ranking police officer says that criminal intelligence is “obtaining criminal information and following up on it.” For me, is not accurate, and therefore I began to look again in my books and documents to review the professional meaning of the term criminal intelligence. It should be noted that this term has become extremely popular in recent years, thanks to tv series programs and movies that use the concept to magnify the skills of the criminal analyst, raising it to levels of magic and entertainment. However, professionals in the field of analysis and intelligence have learned to practice the profession developing and acquiring an infinity of knowledge that often goes beyond the vision of the criminal justice system and to understand the social, individual, cultural behavior of the human being.
Going back, I was reviewing my blog, and I have not published the basics either: What is Criminal Intelligence? So, taking this event, and search about some definitions from experts that are dedicated to the studies of analysis and intelligence; recalling that criminal intelligence is a type of intelligence in the framework of the different stages when analyst practice: tactical, operational, administrative, and criminal. According to Dr. David Carter on his book: Law Enforcement Intelligence: A guide for state, local and tribal Law Enforcement Agencies 2nd ed; defines criminal intelligence as: “The end product (output) of an analytic process that collects and assesses information about crimes and / or criminal enterprises with the purpose of making judgments and inferences about community conditions, potential problems, and criminal activity with the intent to pursue criminal prosecution or project crime trends or support informed decision-making by management.”
Professor Thomas E. Baker, from the Florida International University (FIU), School of Law and author of several books related to the analysis and research of criminal behavior, defined in his book: Introductory Crime Analysis: Crime Prevention & Intervention Strategies that criminal intelligence is: “Several definitions of criminal intelligence analysis exist worldwide. European Interpol member countries adopted the following definition: Criminal Intelligence analysis is the identification of the provision of insight into the relationship between crime data and other potentially relevant data with a view to police and / or judicial practice. Criminal Intelligence is the reconstruction of the course of events, individual criminal incidents, understanding criminal networks and analyzing the scope of patters and criminal enterprise activities.” In the book of Fundamental Concepts of Intelligence written by Dr. Antonio Diaz Fernández, he compiles the concepts related to analysis and intelligence and written by prominent spanish-speakers professionals around the world; publishes the definition of criminal intelligence under Professor Daniel Sansó-Rubert Pascual from the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. In synthesis mentions that criminal intelligence is: “Nothing more than a type of intelligence useful to obtain, evaluate, and interpret information and disseminate the intelligence necessary to protect and promote national interests of any nature (political, commercial, business), against organized crime, in order to prevent, detect and enable the neutralization of those criminal activities, groups or people that by their nature, magnitude foreseeable consequences, dangerousness or modalities that endanger, threaten or violate the constitutional order, fundamental rights and freedoms.”
So, there are many definitions about the concept of criminal intelligence and not like how to obtain the information and follow it up. It is essential to convert data into information and information into intelligence through the processes of the analysis, intelligence cycle and validation. We cannot continue to focus on the fact that criminal intelligence will give us magical results. This analysis and validation process must be continuous and not responsive to a specific event or moment. Intelligence must have a serious space within police environments to investigate into the data and exercise products that are capable of developing work plans, law enforcement policy and launching a structured and accountable policy for data management.
Criminal intelligence will always be available to assist professionals in data and information development. Therefore, I recommend looking for serious assets and committed to the enrichment of the field of intelligence; and that it is not the use of the word as a cliché to see ourselves as professionals. Analysts are persistently seeking to understand and processing the data to better comprehend of our environment and always available to assist in all stages of the investigation process up to the trial prosecution.
Until next time, thanks for see, share and comment,