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Comparing the Democratic Governance of Police Intelligence

Comparing the Democratic Governance of Police Intelligence

New Models of Participation and Expertise in the United States and Europe

Edited by Thierry Delpeuch and Jacqueline E. Ross

"Intelligence-led policing" is an emerging movement of efforts to develop a more democratic approach to the governance of intelligence by expanding the types of expertise and the range of participants who collaborate in the networked governance of intelligence. This book examines how the partnership paradigm has transformed the ways in which participants gather, analyze, and use intelligence about security problems ranging from petty nuisances and violent crime to urban riots, organized crime, and terrorism. It explores changes in the way police and other security professionals define and prioritize these concerns and how the expanding range of stakeholders and the growing repertoire of solutions has transformed both the expertise and the deliberative processes involved.

Chapter 1: Introduction: the collaborative analysis of intelligence

Thierry Delpeuch and Jacqueline E. Ross

Subjects: law - academic, comparative law, criminal law and justice, law and society, terrorism and security law, politics and public policy, terrorism and security


Gathering and analyzing information is something that police intelligence units are thought to do in relative isolation. The collection and analysis of intelligence has traditionally been the purview of well-insulated investigators and analysts who belong to specialized police divisions focusing on organized crime, drug trafficking, and terrorism. But intelligence work in the United States and many other democracies has been significantly transformed in recent years. It has become more collaborative, melding the police with an array of other actors. The confluence of three separate developments has driven this process. First, the rise of evidence-based approaches to law enforcement and crime prevention has placed a premium on creating dialogue among a heterogeneous mix of experts. Second, the police have increasingly come to value cooperation and intelligence inputs from a wider range of local and international sources, prompting efforts by intelligence analysts to make greater use of security partnerships. And third, law enforcement increasingly understands the need to build trust and enhance legitimacy in local communities. Trust and legitimacy encourage local leaders to report suspicious behavior, identify crime patterns, and predict riots and other threats to public order. Over the past several decades, accordingly, police have changed the ways they make sense of the world by including a mix of outsiders in their process of acquiring and assessing information. Successive waves of reforms have introduced community policing, problem-oriented policing, and intelligence-led policing into the day-to- day practices of law enforcement agencies in the English-speaking world and, increasingly, elsewhere. Many of these initiatives embrace what we call the ‘partnership paradigm’, in which law enforcement works with outsiders to analyze intelligence and develop solutions collaboratively. Police, outside experts and local residents address concerns ranging from petty nuisances and local offenses through transnational organized crime and terrorism. These deliberative partnerships have allowed participants to work out coordinated solutions that call on the skills of urban design specialists, social workers, school officials, transportation companies, public housing officers, and administrative officers who enforce municipal housing codes. Tenants’ associations and local residents are often included in these ventures. At the national level, law enforcement agencies have attempted to integrate local intelligence analysis with national initiatives to track the movements of criminal organizations and the recruitment tactics of terrorist networks. Liaison officers and diplomats concerned with promoting European integration and improving police cooperation work together to facilitate access to international databases and to coordinate interventions and strategy at the international level.