Intelligence support officer – a day in the life

Published on 30 July 2021
Providing information and data management and broad administrative support as part of an intelligence unit
Case study
4 mins read
Police staff

Working day

A typical day depends on what task you have been allocated. This might be processing, handling the intelligence inbox or addressing crimestoppers reports.

Processing intelligence reports involves:

  • reviewing
  • assessing
  • researching
  • linking the relevant people, vehicles and locations
  • forwarding on for a risk and threat assessment

The intelligence inbox work requires me to respond to any emails that have been sent to the force’s intelligence inbox, such as recalls to prison or releases on temporary licence. My response depends on the nature of the email. It usually requires forwarding it on to the relevant divisions, but it can also involve researching an operation or organisation before ensuring the email is sent on to the right person or inbox.

Force intelligence is responsible for receiving crimestoppers reports and inputting them onto our system. This entails the same roles as processing, as well as being responsible for informing the relevant division if something is high-risk, and inputting all the completed reports onto the crimestoppers register.

Do it! If you have an enquiring mind, you like to perform online research, you enjoy working alone or as a team, and you don’t mind working shifts, it is a very rewarding role

Hours

Many forces work a range of different shift patterns for this role. There is a requirement to work evening, late and night shifts, as well as some weekends.

Location

For me, the role is purely office-based, as we don’t have time to go out on location.

Training

When you take up a post within intelligence, either in policing or in one of our law enforcement intelligence professionalisation programme (IPP) partner agencies, the emphasis is on developing your existing skills and abilities. This will help ensure you become a professional, fully competent intelligence support officer with transferable skills.

Training is varied according to individual and organisational needs. It may include classroom-based learning, e-learning, shadowing, on-the-job learning, practical experience, self-study and self-reflection.

You will have the opportunity to undertake the IPP, which will give you professional recognition of your competence. All individuals are required to commit to continuing professional development to ensure that they remain up to date in their role.

Intelligence professionalisation programme (IPP) 

The IPP is a specialised development programme for those working specifically within intelligence, either in policing or one of our law enforcement IPP partner agencies.

IPP is a development programme that is between 12 and 18 months long. It consists of a national learning curriculum and a set of minimum standards of competence (assessment criteria).

Individuals are assessed against these criteria by an appointed IPP assessor. Once the individual’s IPP assessor has agreed that the individual has met all of the relevant standards, they will be awarded a certificate of competence.

This certificate is transferable to another IPP organisation and is valid for three years. At present, you cannot undertake the IPP unless you are employed in an intelligence function in either policing or in a partner IPP organisation. However, this is not a barrier to employment.

If you do not already hold the IPP certificate, you will be given the opportunity to complete the programme upon employment.

The IPP is the nationally recognised certificate of competence across all of the IPP partner agencies. Completing the IPP is a mandatory requirement for some organisations.

Advice

Do it! If you have an enquiring mind, you like to perform online research, you enjoy working alone or as a team, and you don’t mind working shifts, it is a very rewarding role.

It can be stressful and requires a high level of concentration. There are different areas that you could work in, such as local intelligence units dealing with local crime, or regional or specialist units, which involve a higher level of vetting and deal with more serious and organised crime.

Next steps

A day in the life of other intelligence roles