From 19 to 30 September 2016, total of 16 participants, mainly analysts from the Crime Intelligence Analysis Department, from both national and local level, attended the two-week intensive training dedicated to the methodology for developing Serious and Organized Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA). The training, that took place in the Training Center in Idrizovo, was conducted by experienced and renowned expert in the field of risk management and intelligence analysis, Mr. Peter Allan.
Serious and Organized Crime is a significant challenge for all governments, undermining personal and state security, with a potential to impact upon other critical areas, be they social, political, economic or environmental. But, understanding the scale and impact of serious and organized crime, how criminals are operating and the effect of their activities on communities and government, as well as identifying and implementing effective strategies to minimize their criminal activities, is absolutely essential for a successful national response.
The implementation of a national threat assessment process and the production of a national Serious and Organized Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA) will provide a better and broader understanding of the challenges posed and the modus operandi being used by criminals at a stated period of time.
Equally important, it will improve the response to serious and organized crime by helping to identify priority issues for action. It will also enable more effective and coordinated strategies to be developed and implemented to better prevent and investigate serious and organized crime, providing better opportunities to make communities safer and increase public confidence.
Conducting a national Serious and Organized Crime Threat Assessment is a process to help decision making. It will describe and assess the threats posed to a country now and in the future from the whole range of serious and organized crime activities, it will identify gaps in knowledge and the intelligence requirements to fill those gaps, and make recommendations about the threats identified.
In short, implementing a national SOCTA process improves knowledge, assists decision making, improves the use of limited resources and drives action.
This training for the representatives of the Crime Intelligence Analysis Department had a particular focus upon the development of a SOCTA at national level.
It was designed to equip the police officers tasked with completing a national SOCTA with a methodology and step-by-step practical guide to enable them to create a useful product. The methodology has to be flexible enough to cope with the different aspects of policing in the country, yet rigid enough to provide a structured, homogeneous approach.
This training supplied the background and some details for undertaking a national SOCTA, it challenged the participants to assess the current methodology for producing a SOCTA and suggest other possible approaches. It also presented various analytical tools and techniques to develop the participants’ skills to allow them to use them effectively.