Increased use of informants, intelligence as well as surveillance targeting major offenders has made the police to adopt crime fighting philosophies which make them more effective in fighting crime. These include Intelligence-Led Policing, Community Policing, Problem-Oriented Policing as well as CompStat Policing. Intelligence-led policing focuses on risk assessment as well as risk management in crime control (Cope, 2004). In this policing paradigm, the role of intelligence is to guide security operations.
Intelligence-led policing applies some tenets of community policing in prevention of crime. It seeks community input in conducting objective analysis of the community’s security needs (Cope, 2004). Intelligence-led policing also applies some methodologies adopted by problem-oriented policing in acquiring intelligence information used in guiding policing operations. Problem-oriented policing involves identifying specific members of the community to provide useful insights which law enforcement officers use for problem analysis. Law enforcement officers partner with the community in solving specific problems in the community although the technical work involving problem analysis is done by police officers. Intelligence-led policing applies these techniques in collecting information that the intelligence officers use in objective analysis of criminal environments. These strategies are also applied in intelligence-led policing to build trust and cooperation with the local community. Finally, CompStat has influenced intelligence-led policing information analysis procedures. CompStat uses computerized data analysis to make decisions (Wells, 2008). Intelligence-led policing also applies these techniques in performing crime environment analysis.
Community policing places much emphasis on community contact as well as empowerment. Thus, the desires and the needs of the local community are prioritised. The paradigm recognizes that by working with the community, police officers are able to find local solutions for the local community. However, in intelligence-led policing, priorities and strategies for fighting crime are determined by critically analysing the criminal environment (Wells, 2008). This philosophy is founded on the idea that crime cutback priorities may sometimes be different from what the local people identify as priority need. Despite the differences, community policing and intelligence-led policing share common strategies of policing operations. Their information flow comes from the lower level upwards (Ratcliffe, 2008). They both use patrol officers to identify circumstances and individuals who may threaten security in the community. Patrol officers therefore forward the information to intelligence units who perform the analysis.
Problem-oriented policing gives priority to street-level law enforcement officers in problem identification as well as resolution, applying a bottom-up philosophy (Wells, 2008). In contrast, intelligence-led policing follows a top-down philosophy where decision-making is done at the executive level meaning that priorities for crime prevention as well as enforcement are done at the top, and then passed down to the lower levels. Again, problem-oriented policing puts emphasis on the need to collect useful information necessary for guiding policing operations. On the contrary, intelligence –led policing focuses on producing objective, useable information (Ratcliffe, 2008). The information collected is only used to make objective analysis and not to guide designing as well as implementation of crime reduction strategies.
Intelligence-led policing shares similar philosophy with CompStat. Both of them apply objective analysis of criminal environments. CompStat involves performing complex data analysis as well as mapping to make decisions (Ratcliffe, 2008), and intelligence-led policing applies this technology as one of its methodologies of crime environment analysis. However, intelligence-led policing analyses information from various sources so as to better understand the circumstances surrounding the crime patterns in the region/community in order institute long-term solutions. On the other hand, CompStat only analyses information from hotspot areas where police officers are aiming to providing long-term solutions.
These policing paradigms encourage law enforcement officers to partner with communities in preventing and reducing crime and ensuring safe environments. Their emphasis on effective information gathering and problem-solving provide more effective means of fighting crime.
Cope, N. (2004). Intelligence led policing or policing led intelligence?: Integrating volume crime analysis into policing. British Journal of Criminology, 44(2), 188-203.
Ratcliffe, J. H. (2008). Supplemental material for Intelligence-led policing. Web.
Wells, R. (2008). Intelligence-led policing: A new paradigm in law enrocement. Web.