CEPOL highlights the value of strategic intelligence analysis

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08 July 2019
Hellenic Police Intelligence Directorate (HPiD)

CEPOL Course 66/2019 “Strategic Intelligence Analysis” was held from the 24th to the 27th of June 2019, in Athens, Greece. It was organised due to the increasing interest from the EU Member States to effectively use the Strategic Analysis, towards developing tailor-made holistic approaches in preventing and countering serious & organised crime, terrorism, as well as other cross-cutting security threats. This year’s Strategic Intelligence Analysis Course was mailnly focused on the crime area of Criminal Finances and Money Laundering (included in the eight priority threats, identified in SOCTA 2017).

The course was organised for the third consecutive year by the Hellenic Police Intelligence Directorate (HPiD) with the cooperation of the Hellenic CEPOL Unit. Experts from HPiD, Special Secretariat of Financial & Economic Crime Unit - SDOE (Hellas), University of Peloponnese, Europol, Frontex, Spanish National Police, Fiscal Information & Investigation Service - FIOD (The Netherlands), the HM Revenue & Customs - HMRC (UK), US Embassy in Athens, the US Customs & Border Protection (CBP) and the US Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), contributed to the Course.

HPiD constitutes the central intelligence hub of the Hellenic Police, which collects, processes and analyses criminal information, towards supporting all respective Law Enforcement Agencies in Greece horizontally, in addition to contributing to policymaking and strategy development, in the field of Serious & Organised Crime, Cybercrime and Terrorism.

32 participants, from 21 EU Member States, Switzerland, the independent region of Kosovo (UNSC 1244/99), as well as from EU Agencies (Europol & Frontex), attended the course. The participants were actively engaged throughout the course’s activities, especially by bringing in their respective national and international approaches and experiences, regarding Strategic Intelligence Analysis on the field of Criminal Finances and Money Laundering, transferring knowledge, identifying gaps and limitations and exchanging best practices; thus benefitting all parts.

During the course, the expert from Europol highlighted the current significance of Strategic Intelligence Analysis in EU. The expert from Frontex presented Strategic Intelligence Analysis (qualitative & quantitative approaches) and Social Network Analysis.

Following that, the expert from the Spanish National Police presented a session about Data Processing & Evaluation, while the trainer from HMRC underlined the role of Intelligence Collection & Exploitation of Sources of Information. Additionally, the expert from FIOD presented real case studies related to Excise Fraud Crime.

The expert from SDOE, provided the participants with a general overview of Financial Crime in Greece during the last years (2017-2018), while HPiD officers presented the session Environmental Criminology & Applications of GIS, which included two case studies. The professor from the University of Peloponnese informed the attendees about the Political Economy in Law Enforcement.

Furthermore, the trainers from the US. Agencies and the US Embassy in Athens elaborated on topics regarding Geospatial Analysis & Technology, Financial Analysis & Dark Web, Detection of Counterfeit Documents and Trade-based Money Laundering (Analysis & Technology).

It is worth noting that the HPiD trainers’ team, designed and conducted a scenario-based practical exercise, in the form of a workshop throughout the course for training purposes, where participants were able to work together in teams and apply in practice what they had been learning, in theory, each day. At the end of the course, the four working groups, presented their strategic analysis results, getting feedback from the experts.

The participants highly valued and much appreciated the organisation and implementation of the course, as well as the added value brought by the experts and the organising team.

The Austrian participant, Friedrich Steiner, stated: “As the oldest participant of the CEPOL Activity 66/2019, I’d like to point out that the organisation team did an outstanding job! Substantiation? Where else do you feel so welcome and well taken care of from the first moment? Where else do you get not only a well-selected educational programme but also a comprehensive cultural offer? Where else do you feel like at home among longtime friends? Experienced speakers have shared their knowledge with us, encouraged us to cooperate and thus also expanded our expertise and analysts network. This will certainly increase the quality of our work in the future!”.

The expert, Petrus Kok, from the Fiscal Information & Investigation Service - FIOD (The Netherlands), cited: “I doubt if my comment could benefit you in order to improve a possible next session of a CEPOL course, because I can’t think of a negative, or less positive, experience during CEPOL course 66/2019. I only participated in the last two days of the course [June 26th and 27th] because my contribution to the course was planned on Wednesday the 26th. I think it is also worth mentioning that I am not an analyst myself, but as an investigator, I told the participants of the course about my experiences, and the necessity of good cooperation between analysts and investigators in order to fight (international) crime. The presentations that I have attended were informative, relevant, and were clearly stated by the experts. There was ample opportunity for the students’ questions and input. Also, the involvement and attitude of both participants and experts were very good. I have the impression that the students and the experts complement each other well, both groups were enthusiastic and eager to learn/teach. The organisation of this CEPOL course deserves a big compliment! Everything was arranged perfectly, the information was good, the personal approach was commendable and, of course, the Greek hospitality is world famous. I spoke with several participants, and I did not hear one negative sound. In short, I look back on an educational, well-organised and enjoyable event, and I feel honoured and thankful to have participated in this great CEPOL course!! ”.

The participant from Portugal, Bruno Santos, stated: “The course itself, I think it was very well thought and planned, where the bibliography and pre-course material were available in time, allowing previous preparation by the participants. The relationship between training content, cultural visits and interaction among participants was very well achieved, much due to the way how the daily schedule was organised. In the same day, we had time to learn and “have some fun”. The training content was very current, practical and straight to the point, where the trainers, in general, were able to attract and hold the interest and attention of the participants (I have already begun to use and put in practice, today, some of the knowledge gained). The working group was very well constituted because it was able to gather the essential points of the strategic analysis methodology and allowed teamwork between people with different experiences. And the most important thing that was achieved, in my opinion, much because of the organising team’s effort, was the partnership, comradeship and friendship among us. Like I said on the last day WE ARRIVED AS STRANGERS, AND WE LEFT AS FRIENDS! A truly lifetime experience”.

According to Aikaterini Giannelou, the trainer from Europol: “CEPOL’s course on Strategic Intelligence Analysis achieved its aim to enhance the capabilities of the trainees in the area of law enforcement Strategic Intelligence Analysis and its application in producing knowledge products and provide guidelines to the decision makers in endorsing policing strategies. Lectures covered a variety of issues such as the Strategic Intelligence Analysis Process, Analytical tools and techniques, software applications and good practice examples. Last but not least, the course organisers met the expectations of the participants and hosted content, interesting and administrative functional training course”.

This course is the outcome of a joint effort between HPiD and the Hellenic CEPOL Unit, which cooperated in organising all administrative/logistics aspects of the Course, as well as in preparing educational and training issues, and their delivery.

Course 66/2019


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