Why have police adopted “intelligence-led policing”?
Intelligence-led policing is a relative new phenomenon which is becoming widespread because of the extensive that it has provided over the past years. Intelligence-led policing was first introduced and entered the police domain in early 1990s. Gill 1998 states that the birth of intelligence-led policing is imprecise but the emergence of it thought to be when UK saw a rise in crime during the late 1980s an into the start of 1990s police were adopting ways to be more effective and cost efficient. They moved onto the effectives ways to deal with increasing crime calls by adopting both internal and external policing methods to deal with the increasing rate of crime. (Ratcliffe, 2003)
Ratcliffe, who has studies the intelligence-led policing extensively, states that intelligence led policing originally adopted as a strategy to reduce crime through the ‘combined use of crime analysis and criminal intelligence in order to determine crime reduction tactics that concentrate on the enforcement and prevention of criminal offender activity, with a focus on active and recidivist offenders’ (Ratcliffe, 2008). The police chose the strategy because they benefited from it in terms of reducing the crime and also the strategy being time-efficient. Before moving any further, it is also important to explain on what aspects this approach emphasises on. The approach or strategy of intelligence led policing emphasis on collecting information through different agencies and informants. Important aspects like offenders interviews, post recorded crimes, surveillance activities and any other source of information. Of the reasons that the police have adopted intelligence-led policing are that when all the sources are analysed, the state law enforcement managers can then determine any hotspots for the crime and to where they should direct their tactics preventing crime. This way they are able to plan and conduct operations and avoid unnecessary cost ‘the interpretation of ‘intelligence-led policing’ appears to be broadening in scope.’ Whilst still preserving the belief that police should avoid getting laden with individual case considerations, which is time consuming. ‘Intelligence-led policing is evolving into a management philosophy that places greater emphasis on information-sharing and collaborative, strategic solutions to crime problems at the local and regional level’ (Ratcliffe, 2008).
Another reason could be that, adopting intelligence-led policing allows police agencies with an advantages of using their power to identify major problems and build understanding of an event overall. It allows them to manipulate and harmonize the various aspects in policing in order to improve decision –making and the time taken to do it anyway. It enables them to assess the threat from all sides before making a decision. In other words, adopting intelligence led policing allows them to understand what they are dealing with.