As we go into more detail later in this book, you will see that while crime analysis is a valuable tool in the day-to-day “statistical” mindset of law enforcement, intelligence supplies the data from which analysis is drawn. From the perspective of real-time tactical analysts, data mining from multiple intelligence sources is the main task in obtaining data and intelligence. As you may have already gathered, throughout this book the words data and intelligence will carry the same meaning and be virtually interchangeable. Technically, the word intelligence, when used as a noun in military or government work, has traditionally referred to information gained from the enemy. However, in this book and writing from the perspective of the crime analyst, the word
intelligence will refer to information (data) that is gathered to advance the work of the analyst.
With this out of the way, intelligence-led policing relies heavily on the gathering, sharing, assessment, and dissemination of information (intelligence) used to aid in strategic planning and proactive enforcement measures.
While intelligence-led policing incorporates many of the ideologies found with other methods of policing, such as community policing and problem-oriented policing, it walks a fine constitutional line with how it collects and disseminates intelligence (Guidetti and Martinelli, 2009). The implementation of intelligence-led policing is meant to anticipate crime trends and proactively create prevention strategies while at the same time respecting citizens’ privacy rights. According to Guidetti and Martinelli (2009, p. 1), intelligence-led policing is a conceptual framework of conducting policing as “a business model and an information-organizing process that allows police agencies to better understand their crime problems and take measure of the resources available to be able to decide on an enforcement tactic or prevention strategy best designed to control crime.”
From the crime analyst’s perspective, the intelligence gathered should be deemed sound and reliable, and it should be used to develop strategies intended to address specific problems.