Wow another great conference put on by the Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science and the Assoiciation of Crime and Intelligence Analysts at Manchester Central. I attended this conference last year and it was just as good, if not better. The presentations this year covered a wide range of topics and were presented by analysts from across the globe and from many different law enforcement agencies including the Environment Agency and Transport for London.
For me there were two overarching themes; the professionalisation of intelligence analysis and collaboration across agencies to work towards the same goal. The first topic was discussed by many of the presenters in one form or another. A presentation on the VALCRI project showed how in many cases analysts are hamstrung by factors outside their control and that improving analysis goes hand in hand with improving their management and a wider understanding of the role of the analyst. West Midlands Police were presenting several times at the conference and I saw two of them. They have revolutionised how they wrote and presented their strategic assessment both to police and partner agencies. Unusually their strategic assessment is publicly available on their website and this is most definitely a brave departure from the traditional restricted document.
The second theme of the conference for me was around collaboration both with partner agencies and with academics to support evidence based policing. Some of the presentations that stood out on this theme were the London Borough of Havering treating violence in the night time economy as a public health issue, the London Borough of Brent’s wholistic intervention approach to tackling gangs and dangerous drug networks, Devon and Cornwall’s presentation on how they produced their Organised Crime Local Profiles and then the College of Policing’s presentation about academic collaboration to understand what works in policing.
Another stand out feature of all the presentations was the passion and dedication shown by these analysts and how that drove them to strive for excellence. Excellence was rewarded at the drinks reception where the winner of the ACIA’s awards programme was announced. There were two highly commended awards for Cambridgeshire’s analysts who had developed their harm based risk assessments and an analyst from Devon and Cornwall who’s work on a series of high value commercial burglaries that took an organised crime group off the streets. The overall winner was an analyst from Lancashire Constabulary who’s analysis on a murder trial was agreed by 11 defence barristers in a four month murder trial. Some really fantastic work that has had a huge impact on victims, communities and law enforcement.
I was presenting on two topics this year so unfortunately I didn’t get to see many of the great presentations in the seminar streams. My first presentation was on Scaling Up – taking divisional analysis techniques to a force wide level and this was based around my experiences of writing the Force Problem Profile on child sexual exploitation after having written a very successful divisional problem profile. When I started the project I was very excited about the possibility of replicating the methodology used in the divisional profile to test the findings on a larger dataset and validate those findings. However, things are never quite that simple and my presentation concentrated on the challenges I faced undertaking this project. The following link is to the coverage of this presentation in Police Oracle.
My second presentation was titled from information to intelligence to evidence and used my experiences of human trafficking investigations to show have small pieces of information can grow and grow into huge complex investigations.
The end of the conference saw the presentation of the conference prizes for best posters and best presentations. The winner of the best poster was Devon and Cornwall’s poster about crime scripting and the runner up was Brent Community Safety Partnership’s example of how they used numerous data sources to estimate the prevalence of child sexual exploitation in the borough. The runner up for best presentation was another Devon and Cornwall analyst’s presentation of his role in the burglary operation for which he won the highly commended award from ACIA. Astonishingly the winner of best presentation was me! I really did not expect that but the judges said that my CSE presentation was delivered with passion, enthusiasm and speckled with engaging humour! More astonishing than winning was the prize, presenting at the European Intelligence Analysis Conference being hosted by Denmark Police in Copenhaged in October! Wow. What an amazing way to end my time with Greater Manchester Police!
This conference is an absolute must for any intelligence analyst out there. It is a great learning opportunity and brilliant for networking and finding like minded people you can bounce ideas off and share best practice.