National Intelligence Model

The National Intelligence Model (NIM) is a well established and recognised model within policing that managers use for:

  • Setting strategic direction
  • Making prioritised and defendable resourcing decisions
  • Allocating resources intelligently
  • Formulating tactical plans and tasking and co ordinating resulting activity
  • Managing the associated risks

It is important to note that the NIM is not just about crime and not just about intelligence – it is a business and decision making model that can be used for most areas of policing.

It provides a standardised approach to gathering, co ordinating and disseminating intelligence which can be integrated across all forces and law enforcement agencies.

Launched by the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) and adopted by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) in 2000, the government placed the NIM at the centre of the police reform agenda.

The NIM has become a cornerstone of policing in England and Wales and all forces have reached the Minimum Standards for compliance with the model.

Government ensured that NIM was fully embedded in forces’ mainstream policing, by issuing a code of practice to require observance of the principles and standards for implementation of the model, and continuous development.

In many ways the NIM can be seen as a model for standards development across policing.

What the NIM does

  • Provides greater consistency of policing across the UK
  • Allows operational strategies to focus on key priorities
  • Allows more officers to focus on solving priority problems and targeting the most active offenders
  • Achieves greater compliance with human rights legislation and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA)
  • Informs the management of risk
  • Provides more informed business planning and a greater link to operational policing issues
  • Improves direction and briefing of patrols
  • Reduces rates of persistent offenders through targeting the most prolific
  • Improves integration with partner agencies

How the NIM works

The model works at three levels:

  • Level 1 – Local/Basic Command Unit (BCU)
  • Level 2 – Force and/or regional
  • Level 3 – Serious and organised crime that is usually national or international

First

Certain key ‘Assets’ must be in place at each level to enable intelligence to be produced. Without them, the intelligence function will not operate efficiently.
 A sufficiently flexible ‘Tactical Capability’ must also be present at each level to deal with identified problems. Without it, too much intelligence will be produced with little or no capability to deal with it.

Second

Four key ‘Intelligence Products’ are produced to drive policing through the Tasking and Co-ordinating process:

  • The Strategic Assessment
  • The Tactical Assessment
  • The Problem Profile
  • The Target Profile

Third

The Tasking and Co-ordinating Process takes place strategically and tactically at each level with information and intelligence flowing between levels and between neighbouring police forces and law enforcement agencies. At a strategic level, the NIM is strongly linked to all aspects of business planning, both in relation to the Policing Plans and the strategies of Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships.

The Tasking and Co-ordinating Process

  1. The Strategic Tasking and Co-ordinating Group (Strategic T&CG) sits twice yearly at each level and, informed by the Strategic Assessment, sets the Control Strategy for its area of command. The Strategic T&CG also approves an Intelligence Requirement that provides direction to all police staff regarding the collection of intelligence.
  2. The Tactical Tasking and Co-ordinating Group (Tactical T&CG) sits at least fortnightly at BCU and force levels, and 3-monthly at a regional level. Informed by the Tactical Assessment and the resources available, it prioritises the proposed tactical activity for the BCU, force or region for the next period and ensures that it is aligned to the priorities identified within the Control Strategy. The Tactical T&CG also commissions the remaining two intelligence products – the Problem Profile and the Target Profile – as and when required, and prioritises the tactical activity to be taken against each.

The NIM and Partnership Working

The NIM is primarily a business model for use in allocating police resources. However, there should be strong links between the NIM and partnership working.

Partners should be encouraged to provide information to the beginning of the process and to accept products after research and analysis (these may have to be sanitised), in order that they can be better informed in relation to the strategic issues, or assist in tactical resolutions.

Additionally, it must be recognised that much of the information and intelligence produced by the model at a tactical level is of a restricted or confidential nature, and often relates to targeting individual offenders and potential offenders.

Whilst attendance of partners at the Tasking & Co-ordinating Groups (T&CGs) may be possible at a strategic level, it may not always be possible or practicable at a tactical level.