Leiden Safety and Security Blog

Intelligence-led policing and local governance

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Intelligence-led policing and local governance

Elke Devroe of the Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) was a key-note speaker on ‘intelligence led policing and community oriented policing’ at the annual meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Transnational Threats Department, Strategic Police Matters Unit in Vienna on 9 and 10 June 2016. Empirical results of the Policing European Metropolises Project (PEMP) were presented, which will be published under the title ‘Policing European Metropolises: The Politics of Security in City-Regions’ (Devroe, Edwards & Ponsaers, 2016) by Routledge.

In order to prevent transnational phenomena like radicalization, human smuggling, drugs, organized crime, the focus on strategies (dispositions) used in metropolises (often hiding places or knots of diverse sorts of crime) are crucial. In order to use successful intelligence-led policing strategies, mayors must - together with other actors like social services, health care institutions, public and private policing organizations, law enforcement agencies - determine strategies and priorities based on evidence first. Or, like Ratcliffe (2016) points out in his newest book: “Intelligence-led policing emphasizes analysis and intelligence as pivotal to an objective, decision-making framework that prioritizes crime hot spots, repeat victims, prolific offenders and criminal groups. It facilitates crime and harm reduction, disruption and prevention through strategic and tactical management, deployment, and enforcement.”

The analysis of the policy agenda-setting in 24 European Union metropolises revealed a shift from the traditional law enforcement strategies within the penal justice system towards risk based management dispositions where the mayor is not dependent anymore on (an inefficient and slow) justice apparatus, but instead opts for administrative measures of a broad spectrum to deal with organized crime, radicalization and other types of crime and disorder. This means that early intervention becomes key not only in preventative strategies like ethnic profiling (Rome) or Top 600 (Amsterdam), but also early-sanctioning dispositions are in one hand, keeping the offender out of the justice system and enlarging the grip of local governing bodies like the mayor and the alderman.

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