Intelligence-led policing is one of the most prominent models for law enforcement today. This model works best when law enforcement has access to plenty of data, such as the data generated by a real-time crime center (RTCC).
In this article, we discuss how a well-designed RTCC can help with your intelligence-led policing efforts. But first, let’s break down what intelligence-led policing is.
What is Intelligence-Led Policing?
Intelligence-Led Policing (ILP) is a model where law enforcement uses data collection and analytics techniques to generate, analyze, and use valuable information. The “intelligence” gathered helps law enforcement direct resources to the people and places where they are likely to make the largest difference. There is a strong focus on preventing crimes before they happen.
A key component of ILP is collaboration with community members and other law enforcement agencies. Community members often have valuable observations about possible criminal activity.
ILP began to take hold in some U.S. metropolitan police departments after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. One of the first ILP units was what is now called the NYPD Intelligence Bureau. By 2003, LAPD had created its own Counterterrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau, and other major police departments took up the practice as well.
Today, intelligence-led policing is one of the most important models for crime fighting and prevention. In recent years, ILP has expanded as smaller police departments have created their own ILP units.
The Key Elements of ILP
ILP depends on strong community relationships. As we mentioned above, community members often have valuable observations about possible criminal activity.
Community-oriented policing helps law enforcement officers practice communicating with the public, getting citizens involved in reporting activities, scanning the environment, and generally mobilizing the community to deal with problems.
The Partnership Model of Policing
In the partnership model of policing, agencies actively collaborate with other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. When agencies partner with each other, they can leverage more resources and data. The open exchange of information is especially important to ILP.
The partnership model also includes collaborating within departments and with other organizations in affected communities.
Hot Spot Policing
Hot spot policing involves focusing efforts on small areas where crime is concentrated. In many hot spots, crime is frequent enough that it is highly predictable over the course of a year.
Law enforcement will usually focus on general law and order, drug enforcement, and gun searches and seizures in the hot spot area.
Problem-oriented policing is an analytic method that identifies and prioritizes a specific “problem”, such as repeat offenders, repeat victims, or repeat incidents. This approach often overlaps with community policing and hot spot policing.
Law enforcement agencies will closely analyze the problems and come up with strategies to respond. There is also an assessment and fine-tuning component.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Intelligence-Led Policing
Many public safety professionals view ILP as an important counterweight to the more “reactive” policing models used in the past. The emphasis on crime prevention can help reduce the overall amount of crime.
However, ILP has also led to privacy concerns, especially among civil liberties advocates. ILP could lead to tracking and collecting data about individuals who are considered potential perpetrators, even when they have done nothing wrong. There are also concerns that ILP could lead to over-policing in minority neighborhoods.
On the other hand, ILP proponents believe that computer-based analysis can help eliminate certain biases that might be inherent in human-based decisions. Some proponents also suggest that law enforcement can develop policies and procedures to reduce the potential for profiling.
How Real-Time Crime Centers Aid Intelligence-Led Policing
Real-time crime centers (RTCCs) help law enforcement use technology to respond to crime faster and more effectively. An RTCC can pull together a broad range of technologies and human resources to gather more intelligence than would be possible using traditional methods.
A major function of the RTCC is to keep an eye on high-crime locations, often with remotely viewed fixed or PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) cameras. A single person can monitor multiple places at once and alert officers in the field when there’s a crime-related event. If a criminal event is caught on camera, that evidence can also help with prosecution.
RTCCs help law enforcement with challenges like:
- Increasing productivity, especially if the RTCC has the right technology and a good layout.
- Collaboration between analysts, investigators, and team members from different departments and agencies.
- Finding out about ongoing situations in real time.
- Monitoring critical people and infrastructure.
- Picking criminal offenders out of a group with high precision. Ordinary residents can be left untouched.
RTCCs can make an enormous difference when it comes to gathering intelligence for ILP strategies. An RTCC can make it much easier to find the individuals who are responsible for the majority of crime in a community. Law enforcement can learn more and respond faster.
As technology expands, law enforcement agencies with RTCCs will offer better operational intelligence than ever and be able to respond to crime even more efficiently.
Set Up a Real-Time Crime Center to Advance Your Intelligence-Led Policing
Is your agency ready to set up a real-time crime center? Russ Bassett can help. We offer a variety of console options, storage solutions, technical tables, lockers, layout design services, and more to help you create the best possible RTCC.
Your RTCC furniture and layout are crucial to its function. RTCCs are often organized around large video walls, and everyone in the room must be able to see the data displayed. What’s more, the control consoles and storage areas must be able to keep a wide range of technology secure, organized, and set up in a way that allows for ergonomics.
The Russ Bassett team will help you plan and design your new RTCC with console furniture that fits your needs. We are known for outstanding customer service and high-quality, fairly-priced consoles.
Connect with our team today to get started on setting up your real-time crime center.