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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Criminal intelligence is information gathered or collated, analyzed, recorded/reported and disseminated by law enforcement agencies concerning types of crime, identified criminals and known or suspected criminal groups.

It is particularly useful when dealing with organized crime. Criminal intelligence is developed by using surveillance, informants, interrogation, and research, or may be just picked up on the "street" by individual police officers.

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 system) which can be "mined" (searched) for specific information. The Metropolitan Police in the UK store this information on their crimint database.

The information collected is usually sorted into different types of law enforcement intelligence. For example, tactical intelligence is used by those units needing the information to make arrests, but other information is so strategic that it only paints a picture after much analysis and confirmation. The information which may be accessible to any officer who needs the information, but usually is disseminated on a need to know basis.

Criminal intelligence analysis focuses on the identification, apprehension and enrollment of offenders into the criminal justice system. Criminal Intelligence Analysts identify investigative leads regarding the relationships between entities of interest and the flow of commodities, money, events, and produce matrices, link charts, flow charts and other analytcial products.

As such, criminal intelligence is a more intense or specific application towards investigations than criminology.

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