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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 7: Democratic policing: case working and intelligence

Peter Manning

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


Intelligence-led policing is a ‘buzz word’ or ‘verbal pillow’ term of art that has never been precisely defined (Tilley, 2003). Its fundamental feature is that it is prospective, future-oriented, data-based and relies on large data sets (maps, graphs, pictures, video and audio files) as a part of the analysis. It may include innovative tactics such as surveillance, profiling, undercover work, and almost inevitably, informants. If it is intelligence-led, it will require weighing and analyzing the likelihood of future events and their potential consequences. It may target groups, networks, or persons but is often characterized by ‘fuzzy’ or associational logic, a kind of puzzle solving, and blurred boundaries between crimes, terrorism, and political rebellion. In many respects, it requires creative and imaginative work that often shades into the illegal or is illegal and thus is protected and carried out by designated agents and agencies. I argue with Jean-Paul Brodeur that such policing resembles the policing of matters of national security rather than the policing of everyday crimes. Intelligence-led policing requires a re-thinking and re-fashioning of current police practice which is predicated on working cases to their conclusion and in the shadow of the courts and legally mandated procedures. I argue here that a conversion of policing to any form of intelligence-led policing will require the police to ‘rethink’ the social object of concern. Objects have social meaning as a result of practices that make the object ‘visible’, and practices are reinforced by rewards, the occupational culture, supervision and the apprenticeship model of training. I suggest that those of us interested in intelligence-led police work will have to ‘reconstitute the object’ and refocus practices.

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