Trust Through Intelligence?

Exploring the Nexus between Community and Counter-Terrorism Policing

  • Jamie Summers
Keywords: Community Policing, Intelligence, Terrorism, Security


It would be understandable to view community policing and counter-terrorism policing as two distinct concepts which are intrinsically situated at opposites poles in the world of policing. While one invokes cultures such as transparency, public engagement and visibility, the other is traditionally considered as a series of clandestine operations more akin to the intelligence-led policing model. This paper will argue that the two policing strategies are in fact compatible. With a shift in the nature of terrorism itself apparent, the contemporary lone wolf attacker is not only a deadly threat, but one which is incredibly difficult to detect using methods such as background checks and covert investigation. This is due to a lack of communication and/or physical ties between attackers, a high level of isolation stemming from affinity to extremist ideologies, combined with self-struggle and anger. In order to combat prospective attacks, effective preventative measures must be implemented in both geographical and social spaces. Such measures warrant the implementation of community policing philosophies which can help establish trust and promote co-operation, leading to accurate, reliable community intelligence, as well as reassurance and security for the members of the community itself.