Criminal intelligence
Criminal Intelligence is information compiled, analyzed, and/or disseminated in an effort to anticipate, prevent, or monitor criminal activity.
The United States Army Military Police defines criminal intelligence in more detail; criminal intelligence is information gathered or collated, analyzed, recorded/reported and disseminated by law enforcement agencies concerning types of crime
Crime is the breach of rules or laws for which some governing authority can ultimately prescribe a conviction...

, identified criminals and known or suspected criminal groups.

It is particularly useful when dealing with organized crime
Organized crime
Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are...

. Criminal intelligence is developed by using surveillance
Surveillance is the monitoring of the behavior, activities, or other changing information, usually of people. It is sometimes done in a surreptitious manner...

, informant
An informant is a person who provides privileged information about a person or organization to an agency. The term is usually used within the law enforcement world, where they are officially known as confidential or criminal informants , and can often refer pejoratively to the supply of information...

s, interrogation
Interrogation is interviewing as commonly employed by officers of the police, military, and Intelligence agencies with the goal of extracting a confession or obtaining information. Subjects of interrogation are often the suspects, victims, or witnesses of a crime...

, and research
Research can be defined as the scientific search for knowledge, or as any systematic investigation, to establish novel facts, solve new or existing problems, prove new ideas, or develop new theories, usually using a scientific method...

, or may be just picked up on the "street" by individual police
The police is a personification of the state designated to put in practice the enforced law, protect property and reduce civil disorder in civilian matters. Their powers include the legitimized use of force...


Some larger law enforcement agencies have a department, division or section specifically designed to gather disparate pieces of information and develop criminal intelligence. One of the most effective ways of applying criminal intelligence is first to record it (store in a computer
A computer is a programmable machine designed to sequentially and automatically carry out a sequence of arithmetic or logical operations. The particular sequence of operations can be changed readily, allowing the computer to solve more than one kind of problem...

 system) which can be "mined" (searched) for specific information. The Metropolitan Police
Metropolitan police
Metropolitan Police is a generic title for the municipal police force for a major metropolitan area, and it may be part of the official title of the force...

 in the UK store this information on their intelligence
Intelligence has been defined in different ways, including the abilities for abstract thought, understanding, communication, reasoning, learning, planning, emotional intelligence and problem solving....


US Army usage

Criminal intelligence: " CRIMINT is the result from the collection, analysis, and interpretation of all available information concerning known and potential criminal threats and vulnerabilities of supported organizations. Army law enforcement agencies are the primary liaison representatives of the Army to federal, state, local, and host nation (HN) agencies for exchanging police intelligence. They collect criminal intelligence (CRIMINT) and human intelligence (HUMINT
HUMINT, a syllabic abbreviation of the words HUMan INTelligence, refers to intelligence gathering by means of interpersonal contact, as opposed to the more technical intelligence gathering disciplines such as SIGINT, IMINT and MASINT...

) within the provisions of applicable statutes and regulations. Army law enforcement agencies have the capability to analyze and disseminate collected time-sensitive information concerning a criminal threat against Army interests. The value of such intelligence cannot be overemphasized; it not only serves the purpose of police investigations, it also contributes to the development of countermeasures to safeguard Army personnel, materials, information, and other resources. " (1)


The CRIMINT process is effective intelligence results from a series of interrelated activities. The intelligence process is a continuous process of collecting and converting data into intelligence
Intelligence has been defined in different ways, including the abilities for abstract thought, understanding, communication, reasoning, learning, planning, emotional intelligence and problem solving....

 products to be integrated into operations. The process consists of several phases with continuous evaluation and feedback at each phase and at the end of the process. With the minor modification of adding “reporting” to the second phase, the following text outlines the intelligence process as discussed in Army Regulation (AR) 525-13.
  • CRIMINT planning and directing.
  • CRIMINT collection and reporting.
  • CRIMINT processing.
  • Analysis and production.
  • Dissemination and integration. (2)


Criminal intelligence analysis

Criminal intelligence analysis has been recognized by law enforcement as a useful support tool for over twenty-five years and is successfully used within the international community. International organizations, such as the International Police (INTERPOL), European Police (EUROPOL) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and while there are many definitions of Criminal Intelligence Analysis in use throughout the world, the one definition agreed in June 1992 by an international group of twelve European INTERPOL member countries and subsequently adopted by other countries is as follows:

The identification of and provision of insight into the relationship between crime data and other potentially relevant data with a view to police and judicial practice.

As such, criminal intelligence is a more intense or specific application towards investigations than criminology
Criminology is the scientific study of the nature, extent, causes, and control of criminal behavior in both the individual and in society...


See also

  • Australian Crime Commission
    Australian Crime Commission
    The Australian Crime Commission is an Australian Government national criminal intelligence and investigation agency. It was formulated under the Australian Crime Commission Act which came into effect on 1 January 2003, establishing the ACC as a national statutory authority to combat serious and...

  • Police Intelligence
    Police Intelligence
    Police intelligence refers to an element of the British police. Staffed by police officers and support staff, its purpose is to track and predict crime with a view to curbing it...

  • Police Intelligence Operations
    Police Intelligence Operations
    Police Intelligence Operations , is intelligence led, intelligence directed and intelligence driven policing. As one of five of the United States Army Military Police Corps primary functions, PIO encompasses the maneuver and mobility; internment resettlement; area security; and law and order...

  • Automated Criminal Intelligence Information System
    Automated Criminal Intelligence Information System
    The Automated Criminal Intelligence Information System is a Canadian on-line computer application established in 1976.This database is the national intelligence repository for the use of all Criminal Intelligence Service Canada members in Canada...

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