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.
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)
2. Skills required
- 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 :
- Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)
- Security Service MI5
- Secret Intelligence Service MI6
- National Crime Agency (NCA)
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 investigationsYou'll need to keep up-to-date on security and confidentiality rules.
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: 14 September 2017