Intelligence-led policing methods and supporting analysis tools represent the state-of-the-art approach in analysing, investigating, mitigating and preventing crime. This chapter examines the question of how such methods and tools can address the lack of interaction between long-term high-level strategic intelligence and operational intelligence in the context of the fight against organised crime and terrorism.
First, this study argues that increased complexity of intelligence work requires new approaches extending existing methods by increasing the capability to combine intelligence analysis performed at strategic and operational levels. The new approach realises the required cross-fertilisation by the fusion and exchange of information from different data sources and the incorporation of knowledge resulting from different analysis levels. Second, the capabilities and desirable characteristics of relevant supporting tools for the new “Early Warning, Early Action” (EW/EA) approach are presented. Finally, the chapter discusses corresponding legal, ethical and societal implications of such tools.
The presentation of the EW/EA paradigm and the related supporting tools in this chapter are based on research, inter alia, undertaken in the context of the EU-funded COPKIT project. COPKIT addresses innovative means of fighting organised crime and criminal use of ICT. The project aims to improve the analysing capabilities of LEAs not only during investigation but also preparedness, mitigation and prevention.