Crime cutting move sees police officers based in prisons

Monday, 10 November, 2008

The UK's first Regional Prison Intelligence Unit has been launched in the West Midlands, following the signing of an historic information-sharing agreement between the region's police forces and the prison service.

The move is designed to cut crime across the region as information-sharing protocols are established allowing vital intelligence on high risk criminals to flow between the prisons in areas policed by the Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Mercia and West Midlands forces.

For the first time, police officers will be based within all of the region's prisons and work with prison officers to ascertain links between inmates and their contacts - both in and out of prison.
This information may then be used to infiltrate criminal networks, mount surveillance operations and direct the tactics used by officers in enforcement operations.

Speaking about the launch, Assistant Chief Constable Suzette Davenport of West Midlands Police said, "The work of the Regional Prison Intelligence Unit will ensure that information on high risk offenders is pooled so that a more accurate intelligence picture is gained.
"This enhanced insight into the regions criminal networks will allow us to ascertain links between prisoners and their contacts - both in and out of prison - and improve our ability to prevent and detect crime."

As part of the information-sharing agreement, those attending the launch will continue to meet to identify the criminal networks that will be investigated and discuss the nature of the intelligence required to stop their illegal activities.

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