New academic article from BUCSIS

24 January 2024

A new article exploring how intelligence is collected from human intelligence sources, detained in police custody suites has been published.

Dr Ian Stanier, one of the reports co-authors (along with Dr Jordan Nunan and Brandon May), stated:

“ The contribution that human intelligence (HUMINT) sources can make, both covert and overt is significant. Their contribution is valued across a range of sectors, including law enforcement agencies, intelligence agencies and the military who view HUMINT as critical to the success of investigations and operations.”

The article, “An exploratory study into cell approaches for intelligence collection from detainees within an English Police Custody Suite” is published in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, Volume 18, 2024. The abstract reads, “The value of intelligence gathered from cell approaches in police custody suites remains largely unexplored, presenting a crucial area for research. This study explores the collection of Human Intelligence (HUMINT) and the generation of Source (Covert Human Intelligence Source, CHIS) referrals during cell approaches. Data was collected from 102 cell approaches by which 54 were undertaken by dedicated intelligence officers and 48 by detectives in a police custody suite in England over a 3-month period. Results revealed that detectives, when tasked, were significantly more successful than dedicated intelligence officers in securing intelligence during cell approaches and to make source (CHIS) referrals. A detainee’s willingness to engage was associated with intelligence provision, with revenge and lifestyle as key motivating factors. Detainees were significantly more likely to provide intelligence post-charge rather than pre-charge, though the time of day and detainee age showed no significant correlations with intelligence gathering. This study discussed the importance of optimizing intelligence collection and source referrals during cell approaches.”