The Analysis Centre was created to reflect the increasingly global emphasis on a community (problem-solving), intelligence-led, partnership approach to policing.
The key objective is to ‘establish the Analysis Centre as a centre of excellence in the professional development and delivery of analytical services and products…the focus will be on day-to-day support for commanders, front-line police and key decision-makers.’
Traditionally, tasks for police analysts have included examining information on 'hotspots' and identifying patterns that might indicate crimes are linked. Some crime is seasonal or occurs at particular times of the day or week. By examining information properly it is often possible to provide advice on how, and where, to best deploy operational personnel.
'Live time' plotting of hotspot trends in the recovery of stolen vehicles, for example, allows police to immediately target areas where problems are most likely to occur. Analysts help in tackling prolific criminals by drawing together lots of information to identify networks and opportunities for police action.
Police analysts can also provide the detailed information necessary to support multi-agency crime prevention / reduction initiatives – for example a detailed analysis of all alcohol related assaults in a particular area can provide the essential catalyst to concerted action by hospitals, health / education boards, licensed premises and others working with the police.
Analysts also play a role in assisting major crime investigations. Often they are used to sift through large amounts of information. Charts and accompanying reports - which depict visually 'what happened' - are routinely produced in murder and other serious cases. They can be very useful, particularly in complex investigations, where statements need to be checked and corroborated. They can also assist busy detectives to identify new lines of enquiry.
Police analysts play a key role in supporting the delivery of front-line policing. Analysts and police colleagues contribute to work being carried out across the organisation to improve the quality, quantity and timeliness of information to drive better performance.
The Police Service has made progress in developing and launching a first-class crime analyst system. This success is attributable to leadership, quality recruiting and a professional development programme. Crime analysis is seen as fundamental to problem identification and solving, and civilian analysts are increasingly recognised as being vital to the success of policing operations.
‘The Crime Analysis Centre rapidly developed into a centre of excellence within the fabric of the Police Service with an international reputation for professional development. District and departmental analysts produce information essential for identification of priorities and the allocation of patrol and investigative strategies’. Office of the Oversight Commissioner. Report 13 – June 2005.
A wide range of strategic reports are also generated to support decision-making in respect of high priority policing problems. These include ‘threat and risk’ assessments, results analysis (reviews of policy and operational initiatives) and in-depth research and analysis pieces.
- Analysis Centre Objectives
- PSNI Analyst Professional Development Programmes
- PSNI International Analyst Exchange / Placement Programme