22 Mar Intelligence grading
No matter how intelligence for use by law enforcement agencies (LEAs) is sourced, all information and data needs to be assessed and graded from acquisition to exploitation. The process of grading aims to challenge the information to qualify its reliability and importance. For example, information from a new human information source will be treated with caution until an assessment can be undertaken to grade the reliability (untested, reliable or unreliable) and accuracy of the information and person. Such assessment includes the use of analysts to determine the likelihood of the intelligence being accurate. This process can include seeking corroboration from other intelligence sources but will always include an assessment of capability, intention and previous methodology of the individual or organised crime gang involved. The grading process enables an LEA to prioritise any actions coming from the intelligence, for example, tasking for further covert development, covert use or overt use sometimes leading to executive action should it indicate an immediate risk to life. Standardised grading processes allow different LEAs and agencies to share information and the associated grading so reduce duplication of effort and aid efficiency. The sharing can be in a sanitised version to protect the source yet allow dissemination to a wider audience. One such process used by LEAs is the 3x5x2 evaluation. Ultimately, this process is measured in its effectiveness to keep the public safe and protect those at risk or threatened by terrorists and criminals. For the NOTIONES project, one of the questions coming from this vital aspect of the use of intelligence is, can any part of this process be improved, for example, though better tools using AI or machine learning? This and other related questions will be answered by the project consortium through the organization of series of webinars and knowledge exchange activities with key stakeholders in the fields of intelligence and security.
To inform on any collected insights into the topic of intelligence collection and processing, please register to one of the upcoming project’s events.
Author (s): Graham Kissock, Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI)