Role spotlight - Intelligence Officer

Every police recruit completes a 2-year probationary period on the front line, working directly with the local community. It’s hugely rewarding, and many officers choose to continue their career in community policing. But desk-based roles can be just as rewarding and varied. Working in intelligence policing is one way your career could take you.

Role purpose

As an intelligence officer, your role is focused on making effective use of information that comes your way. It comes from a huge variety of sources – members of the public or community sources, victims, witnesses and suspects, as well as from specialist police intelligence operatives.

And it comes in many different formats too, particularly digital evidence such as internet browsing histories, emails, phone and text message records, and CCTV footage.

Being able to gather detailed information about victims, offenders and locations quickly from different sources and technologies and then systematically analyse it, helps intelligence units decide where to take action and target resources.

Sounds like it’s for you? To be an intelligence officer, you'll need: 

  • strong attention to detail.
  • to be able to question and analyse both verbal and numerical data.
  • to be able to interrogate data from a range of different sources and look for gaps, potential patterns and connections.
  • to be able to solve problems using facts and logic, and prepare and present intelligence reports to clearly and accurately guide decision-making.
  • to use a variety of standard and specialised software and systems to interrogate and use data effectively.
  • to keep up to date with innovation in intelligence, using the latest tactics and techniques to do your job well. 

And, of course, everything you do should be in line with the strict legislation, regulations, guidelines and specialist codes of practice relating to intelligence gathering and data handling, interrogation and analysis.

Intelligence policing is just one way your career could take you after successfully completing your probation. Find out more about career progression.