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Introducing Intelligence-led policing (ILP)

Some four years ago, the Railway Police of the Netherlands Police Agency introduced intelligence-led policing (ILP). One of the major reasons for adopting this method was that the police are increasingly trying to tackle problems at the root. Guided by reliable information, we can deploy our limited resources where they are needed most.

What is Intelligence-led policing?

Intelligence-led policing can be summarized in two questions:

  1. "Are we doing the right things?"
  2. "Are we doing them right?"

Accordingly, the principles of ILP are:

  • Focus on problems and dangers that threaten society in general;
  • Responsibility for specific problems is clearly assigned;
  • Steering, coordination, and monitoring (plan-do-check-act) takes place at strategic, tactic, and operational levels throughout the organisation;
  • Decision-making on the basis of the outcome of analysis;
  • Applying the 80-20 rule. Some 80% of police work is directed towards 20% of problems (think of repeat offenders, for example), so effective deployment means that a lot can be achieved with limited input.
  • Existence of high-quality information and intelligence processes;
  • Efficient dissemination of information;

The knowledge acquired is structurally applied and safeguarded within the organisation.
This external orientation, problem-oriented approach, and pro-active stance make heavy demands on the provision of information. This document describes the information systems required for the successful further implementation of ILP. It also contains recommendations for how to develop the information systems in the short term to make them more suitable for ILP.

Information systems

In order to come to the proper recommendations, an unambiguous definition of information systems is required. In this context, information systems can be seen as:

"All resources – staff, tools, information – that together ensure that ILP’s demand for reliable deployment information is met”.

The position of information in society is constantly growing in importance. Especially the increasing quantity of information is a contributing factor, as is the importance of information to the daily decisions made by an organisation and each member of staff individually.

Recent research (2005) has shown that management teams that actively seek out and process signals from their surroundings perform better. And evidence of this can easily be found where ILP has successfully been implemented. Particularly within ILP, information serves as the basis for decision-making; these decisions in turn ensure that the police tackle the problems they encounter in an efficient and effective way. The effective provision of information is therefore essential to intelligence-led policing.




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