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Risky Intelligence

NCJ Number
International Journal of Police Science & Management Volume: 11 Issue: 3 Dated: Autumn 2009 Pages: 324-333
Nick Keane; Maren Eline Kleiven
Date Published
10 pages
This article reviews the evolution of intelligence-led policing in the United Kingdom, arguing that the current concept of intelligence as "information which leads to a crime detection" is excluding intelligence relevant to important police responsibilities.
This article argues that in evolving to focus on increasing the detection of crimes that are being or have been committed, the current view of intelligence-led policing is ignoring "community intelligence," which is more about managing risk than increasing detection. The concept of "community" intelligence stems from the view of intelligence offered by Innes, Fielding, and Cope (2005), which consists of four levels: criminal, crime, community, and contextual. "Criminal" relates to the activities of a known suspect or offenders; "crime" pertains to a specific crime or series of crimes; "community" intelligence involves information from a community member or issues within the community; and "contextual" intelligence relates to wider social, cultural, or economic factors that may impact crime. One of the most recent examples of how "community" intelligence differs from "crime" and "criminal" intelligence is found in the outbreaks of disorder in Birmingham, England, in October 2005. The Lozells area of Birmingham is composed of people from many cultural backgrounds. In autumn 2005, a rumor circulated within Lozells that a 13-year-old Jamaican girl had been gang-raped in a local beauty salon by Pakistani men. The current focus of intelligence-led policing, which is designed to assist police officers in detecting crime, would aim to prove either the truthfulness of the source of the information or the content of the information. The rumor, however, resulted in outbreaks of disorder between the ethnic communities, involving four stabbings and two men being shot, one a police officer. What was needed was information about the risk for community violence stemming from the rumor. 29 references