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Criminal intelligence analyst Intelligence officer

Criminal intelligence analysts find and analyse data to help detect and prevent crime, and to protect the security of the UK.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £20,000 to £52,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • a degree or experience in research and analysis work
  • an interest in national and international current affairs

For certain roles, you'll also need some knowledge of languages and technology.

You could get into this job through a higher apprenticeship.

The application process can be quite long, sometimes taking up to 9 months. As part of the process, you'll have your background checked. You'll need to be prepared to answer questions about your personal life, like relationships, family and finances.

You’ll usually also need to prove that:

  • you’re over 18 years old (21 for some roles)
  • you’re a British Citizen (depending on the rules of your employer)
  • you’ve lived in the UK for the last 3 years (10 years for some employers)

You’ll usually need a background check from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and a security check.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • excellent communication and presentation skills
  • the ability to build good relationships with people
  • excellent research skills and the ability to pay attention to detail
  • analytical skills to write and understand complex data
  • planning and organisational skills
  • excellent IT skills for using databases, spreadsheets and specialist software

3. What you'll do

You might work for the police services, the armed forces or HM Revenue and Customs. You could also be an analyst for :

You'll work in an office but you’ll also travel to meetings or court hearings. You’ll look at patterns of criminal activity and how they’re linked so that you can provide information on:

  • reducing future offending
  • targetting individuals and their networks
  • tackling trends in particular crimes, for example fraud, drug smuggling or vehicle theft

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • collecting national and international data
  • analysing data using specialist software
  • building a picture of crime in an area by studying trends in data
  • monitoring the behaviour of individuals or groups
  • updating intelligence records on databases
  • reviewing the effectiveness of your analysis
  • acting as an expert witness in court

You'll also present your intelligence to managers and other agencies so that decisions can be made on how to move forward with investigations

You'll need to keep up-to-date on security and confidentiality rules.

 

4. Salary

Starter: £18,000 to £25,000

Experienced: £30,000 to £40,000 (senior officer)

Highly Experienced: up to £52,000 (lead or manager role)

You also may receive other benefits like a pension and childcare benefits.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work 37 to 40 hours a week.

You may have to work extra hours at short notice.

Depending on your employer, you may need to work or live overseas.

You’ll need to be prepared for the fact that you won’t be able to talk about your work. In some roles, you may not be able to reveal who your employer is.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you may work as a senior analyst, giving specialist advice and assessing trends to work with managers on future priorities.

Employers usually offer clear career paths to more senior roles.

You could also move to related areas of work within your organisation, for example applying to become a police officer.

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Last updated: 24 May 2017