Law enforcement, security, financial services and intelligence agencies face continual challenges while handling several forms of intelligence, multiple lines of inquiry and linking different pieces of related information. Strained resources are an omnipresent reality – however the expectations to do more continues to mount. This means handling more incidents and cases (number and complexity) than earlier, under the growing pressure for quick results.
“The immense amount of data to be analyzed to build a complete picture, visual links and associations leading to improved targeting of crime or reacting to disasters is staggering,” says John Wright, Unisys Solution Director Public Safety and Justice Services. Investigative agencies today are struggling with technology and business processes that do not fully meet the rigor, sophistication and scope of investigations today. Add to that the budgetary pressures that make it difficult to meet steep crime reduction, legislative mandates and the expectations of the informed citizen. Visibility into disparate investigations, increased security, reliability of the process, and the search functionality can all help reduce agency response times.
When it comes to criminal investigations and intelligence handling, the question “why didn’t we identify the suspect(s) earlier?” trumps everything. The inability to understand the information in the system, mine the intelligence, discover links, connect similar investigations and collaborate with other users radically affects the investigation process. Innovation is needed in the investigative tools to analyze complex information, including social media to derive insights that are often missed by human eyes. It’s more about, using the tools and techniques for investigators – “arming” them with the intelligence they need to perform their roles at their fingertips rather than constantly going out and making enquiries for every small piece of information. Technology should not necessarily be a substitute for an investigator – but it can go a long way in aiding and expediting the investigation process.
Fighting crime no longer means simply responding quickly to a 9-1-1 call and trying to solve a case. Technological change can be one of the most powerful catalysts for organizational improvement. As citizens embrace technological innovation for personal finance, consumer services, social interaction and mobility, they expect law enforcement, national security and financial institutions to be doing the same, especially as criminals exploit technology to their advantage. In some cases it can be just a simple evolution of an idea where colored pins are placed on a map to identifying “hot spots” via a computer database based on past crimes and possible patterns. Or it can be as dramatic as biometric integration with facial recognition on the go.
“Agencies and organizations that embrace technology will have the edge,” sites Wright. ”A new investigation approach is needed, one that starts from prevention and extends to post incarceration. This needs to be combined with a rigorous and comprehensive case management capability, constructed in collaboration with experts from the industry.”
Unisys has over 40+ years of experience studying investigative needs developing intellectual property in the public safety and justice space. The Unisys Law Enforcement Application Framework (U-LEAF) is the result of this effort providing law enforcement and security agencies the tools and assistance needed to record, analyse, investigate and collaborate. This in turn helps prevent or detect crimes and/or threats to national security, with the assurance to get it right the first time, every time. The framework was designed to work with and across different national and international jurisdictions, languages, information and data models as well as workflows but share underlying capabilities such as analytics, collaboration, tasking and alerting. It has been rigorously tested and operationally deployed in a sensitive national security environment to assist in managing and mitigating some of the most serious threats. Amongst the range of potential applications for this flexible framework is in the national security intelligence and investigation world; from the identification of a potential lead through community outreach through OSINT to HUMINT onwards, to assessment, analysis to intervention and potential case progression. U-LEAF has the depth and breadth for the whole investigation cycle. The U-LEAF framework has successfully been used to manage many high profile investigations and disasters working closely with agencies to collaborate and continue to enhance capabilities to meet the ever changing threats that arise.
Watch the Applied Innovation Webinar on demand on this topic with John Wright, Solution Director Public Safety and Justice Services for additional information and insight.
You’re encouraged to comment on this blog or ask questions and get additional information on detecting, tackling, and preventing crime and Unisys U-LEAF Intelligence-led Policing by emailing us at AIWebinars@unisys.com.