To what degree have the non-police public services adopted the National Intelligence Model?
: what benefits could the National Intelligence Model deliver?

  • Nick Osborn

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


It is claimed that the National Intelligence Model (NIM) consolidated intelligence-led policing principles in investigative practice and decision making in British policing. Subsequently, encouraged by the Home Office, the NIM was adopted by a number of other public services with an investigative capability. However, that transfer took place without a sufficiently rigorous evaluation of the model’s value to the police service and without any meaningful analysis of its relevance to the investigative functions of other public sector agencies. This research examined the adoption of the NIM by three public sector bodies: The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) and the Driving Standards Agency (DSA). It drew on archival materials, associated literature and the analysis of semi-structured interviews with the personnel of these and associated agencies. Research respondents also assessed a simplified version of the NIM that was designed to remove many of the original model’s inconsistencies and ambiguities.

The research identified that the reviewed public services are not compliant with the NIM minimum standards and that the model has not delivered any meaningful improvement in the consistency of process, investigative efficiency, improved partnership working, or in fraud reduction in those agencies. The NIM failed because of perceived complexity, the language of the model and supplementary guidance; its exclusive ‘fit’ with the police; and a suspicion by the agencies’ personnel that its adoption was intended as a performance management and governance tool. Moreover, the revised version of the NIM’s minimum standards did not improve comprehension or conformity, or resolve the model’s perceived police bias. It was concluded that the model is not fit for purpose for the agencies studied and that an alternative model that is more finely tuned to the needs of those agencies is required.

Date of AwardMay 2012
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorAdrian James (Supervisor) & Steve Savage (Supervisor)

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