View Full Version : Strategic Early Warning for Criminal Intelligence

08-16-2008, 12:56 PM
With a nod to Deborah Osborne at Analyst's Corner (http://www.analystscorner.blogspot.com), an interesting pub from the Criminal Intelligence Service Canada (http://www.cisc.gc.ca/index_e.html):

Strategic Early Warning for Criminal Intelligence (http://www.cisc.gc.ca/products_services/sentinel/document/early_warning_methodology_e.pdf)

In an effort to provide the law enforcement community with advanced warning of emerging and future threats, CISC Central Bureau embarked on a project in 2004 to develop a Strategic Early Warning System for organized and serious crime (SEWS). Built upon well-established concepts and principles from such sectors as national defence and public health, and adapting methodological practices from the social sciences, the SEWS project seeks to provide guidance and insight through highly focused criminal forecasts.

Structurally divided into three main parts, this paper provides an overview of the theoretical framework upon which this project was developed, followed by a thorough explanation of the methodological process by which warning is produced and communicated through the Sentinel product line. The first part looks at principles and practices of indications and warning (I&W) analysis, outlining its central premise, articulating its key concepts and distinguishing it from other forms of intelligence analysis. The second part is dedicated to explaining the SEWS methodology. Beginning with a brief overview of the entire process, this section then discusses in detail the process for developing the Sentinel Watch List and the Sentinel Assessment, followed by a discussion on the key principles and methods of communicating warning to the client. The third and final part highlights some of the challenges and limitation of a strategic early warning system for organized and serious crime.

08-16-2008, 06:51 PM
An interesting catch, although I have great doubts over whether such warnings or estimates actually heeded at a strategic level, let alone elsewhere. The pace of social / economic/ demographic change to cite just three can easily outpace state insititutions, for example the impact of the mobile / cell phone now allied to a camera.

On my quick e-read I noted the references to how any paper / warning is presented to the reader and the CIA's work how key phrases meaning varies.

I commend the article 'Glimpses into the Gems of American Intelligence: the President's daily Brief and the National Intellgence Estimate' by Loch Johnson, in the journal Intelligence and National Security, June 2008 issue, (pub. in the UK and with a trans-Atlantic editorial board). It does a superb job on explaining the interaction between the consumer and the supplier.

Will circulate the Canadian paper to a few observers of the intelligence scene here.

Perhaps others here will comment (Slap from LE angle?).


08-17-2008, 02:19 PM
For the past 2 weeks I have been very busy at my day job and have a lot of reading to catch up on. I have downloaded the document and will read it when I can and reply later.