III Intelligence and Intelligence Analysis

An Introduction to Intelligence

Chapter Outline

  • 1. Criminal investigations
  • 2. The crime analyst and the criminal investigator
  • 3. Stages of the police intelligence process
  • 4. How investigations are performed
  • 5. Crime analysis
  • 6. Criminal profiling
  • 7. Geographical profiling
  • 8. Time-event charting and link analysis

Learning Objectives for Chapter 6

  • 1. Gain a better understanding of criminal investigations
  • 2. Learn to view an investigation from the criminal investigator’s perspective
  • 3. Develop an understanding of the role of the intelligence analyst in a criminal investigation
  • 4. Learn how intelligence plays a key role in criminal investigations
  • 5. Learn some basic tools the intelligence analyst can use to contribute to a criminal investigation

A crime analyst’s effort is what creates information, whether that information is “built” or “mined.” A metaphor that works well is to see the analyst as a sculptor. Some sculptures are created by combining and molding pieces of clay, much as an analyst creates information by combining pieces of data. Other sculptures are created by chipping away extraneous pieces of stone to reveal a shape inside, much as an analyst filters out extraneous pieces of data to find the one that reveals a fact or truth.

Either way, the analyst’s raw material is data, which might come from numerous sources. Out of this data, the analyst seeks to create information, which he then delivers to his “consumer”—the police agency. This information, once internalized, becomes knowledge that informs police action.

Christopher W. Bruce (2008)


As we learned in Chapter 5, intelligence is the information that is the lifeblood of good police work. The detection and investigation of crime, along with the pursuit and apprehension of criminals, require reliable intelligence. Without reliable intelligence, the investigator is limited and the chances of a successful investigation are diminished. Today, we use computers to access information rapidly and efficiently. With the availability of millions of pieces of information through stored computer files and various databases, intelligence analysts and tactical crime analysts can access valuable, and often essential, information—information that can play a critical role in helping to solve crimes. In this chapter, we discuss how intelligence is gathered to assist investigators in the solution of crimes.

In this chapter, as well as in the chapters to follow, we discuss the importance of the role of tactical crime analysts as they work in conjunction with law enforcement to investigate and solve real-time crime. While we will examine in detail the actual process of tactical crime analysis in later chapters, what follows is an example of an actual event that highlights how crucial a fluid working relationship can be between the police investigator and the tactical analyst.

Date: June 14, 2014

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