20 Apr Strategic Assessment report
As part of an ongoing and annual strategic (high level, senior management) assessment, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) produces a Strategic Assessment report. This is an analytical product that is produced by intelligence analysts with the assistance of senior specialists in each area. The document is forward facing, looking into the likely demands on the Law Enforcement Agency in the year ahead based on recent past demand but with the use of all available information on investigative and public safety priorities (for example, organised crime gang activity and threat levels). The link between this assessment and the use of intelligence is the forward facing aspect. For example, if information is being received that an Organised Crime Gang has re-structured and received new funds and weapons then the Police service will assess this and take action to ensure it has sufficient resources in place to mitigate the risk and threat from this organisation. It is a way of forward planning, working from experience and using current data and information to prioritise resources. This is essential when balancing potential demand against available capacity especially in the work of intelligence. Intelligence is only one of many police resources and senior decision makers need reliable and objective information to inform decisions on likely demand and therefore needed capacity. Therefore, the accuracy and timeliness of gathering and providing intelligence to this process is critical. If intelligence gathering and analysis is not seen as a priority in the overall police objectives then it may be under-resourced leading to gaps that put people, businesses and government agencies at risk. Investment in intelligence research is essential to improve its efficiency and effectiveness. The secure sharing of information between friendly agencies between and across Europe is an important aspect of this work. NOTIONES collaborating with other projects (for example, INFINITY and INSPECTr) will identify further development opportunities that are needed to enable timely and secure inter-agency sharing.
Author(s): Graham Kissock (Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI))