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Analysis intelligence products

Authorised Professional Practice

This page is from APP, the official source of professional practice for policing.

First published
Written by College of Policing
Intelligence management
5 mins read

Although there are specific intelligence and analytical products, there is a need for these to be more fluid and flexible. Products can be tailored to consist of several techniques used together to properly answer the question posed. A flexible approach is less likely to restrain the thinking of an analyst who will be able to consider how to best use various techniques available to develop an analytical profile response fit for purpose.

National intelligence model products

The four core intelligence products outlined with the NIM are:

  • subject profile
  • problem profile
  • tactical assessment
  • strategic assessment

These products are produced collaboratively and will be based on the TOR and make best use of varying analytical tools and techniques.

Other intelligence and analytical products

Subject analysis

Subject analysis aims to provide a comprehensive picture of an individual, a victim, suspect or offender and witnesses. It should provide a clear picture of the intelligence and analysis assembled together. It is used to initiate or support an ongoing investigation, aid decision making and develop further lines of enquiry. Subject analysis is likely to form part of a subject profile.

The profile is likely to combine a number of techniques and products to describe the subject’s history, including:

  • criminal activity
  • their lifestyle (geography, communications, financial etc.)
  • associations
  • their strengths and weaknesses
  • the risks they pose

It should identify intelligence gaps and indicate how resources may be deployed against the individual, assist in prioritising targets and focus intelligence gathering.

There must be an appropriate legal basis and rationale to commission any subject profile, taking account of legislation like the Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR, which your local Data Protection Officer will be able to advise on. Other relevant policies, guidelines and APP should also be consulted. Authors must only include information that is directly relevant and proportionate to the objectives set for the product within the terms of reference.

Market analysis/market profiles

Market analysis aims to identify the criminal market around a commodity or service, and can be used to describe any criminal market at any level. These can be criminal markets such as drugs or organised immigration, or legitimate markets. These profiles detail how active the market is, the price and availability of commodities and services, and who the key players are in that market. The legitimate markets may provide lifestyle or motive information that assist the investigation.

Market profiles can be combined with a number of other analytical techniques, including pattern analysis, network analysis and criminal business profiles. They can be used to identify potential new sources of material, emphasise emerging trends and key players, focus intelligence gathering and aid decision making. They may also help to understand the wider picture surrounding an incident. They will require access to every available source of material, including multi-agency and partnership data, and advice may need to be sought from specialists.

Criminal business analysis/criminal business profile

Criminal business profiles aim to detail how criminal operations/businesses operate. A criminal business can be described in the same way as a legitimate business. The only difference is that with a criminal business there is always a victim. This technique breaks down the criminal process into stages, focusing on key elements of the business process. This helps identify the key stages that cannot be achieved without completing another, thereby indicating areas for disruption. It should also highlight weaknesses in systems or procedures that are being exploited and identify intelligence gaps and new lines of enquiry.

A flow chart is a useful tool in a criminal business profile and can be used to show business and financial processes. Crime script analysis serves as a useful analytical tool to support this process. This product is often used in conjunction with market and subject analysis to provide a comprehensive picture of criminal activity and the people involved.

Risk analysis

Risk analysis of one of a number of sources used to support risk assessment. Risk analysis can be applied to a range of different situations in order to identify the likely impact of law enforcement action or inaction, and to predict criminal activity. Risk analysis supports the assessment of the scale of the risk posed by individual offenders, organisations or crime types to potential victims, the public generally, the law enforcement agencies or the criminal justice system.

Risk analysis can be used to identify the risks posed by a particular type of offender, it can also be used to assess whether apparently isolated incidents are in fact part of a larger pattern or trend to which greater importance needs to be given. Alternatively, risk analysis can determine the prioritisation of a number of individuals or groups using a scoring matrix, for example, individual gang members involved in criminality.

Demographic and social trend analysis

Demographic and social trend analysis (DSTA) examines how demographic and social changes in an area or demographic group can affect levels and types of crime and disorder. This product can support strategic analysis and tactical operations and may be used in conjunction with other analytical products.


  • is used to make decisions about resources at a strategic level
  • highlights likely future pressures on resources
  • identifies current or emerging problems
  • improves knowledge in relation to partnership working
  • aids planning for seasonal or tactical operations in response to emerging social phenomena or movements of people
  • highlights preventive, reduction or diversion opportunities
  • helps to focus intelligence gathering
  • predicts criminal activity

The majority of information to support DSTA will come from multi-agency and partnership sources. Academic and open source data may also be used.

Additional products

Organisation evaluation and review provides some detail of two further products that are routinely employed: results analysis and OIA.

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