An intelligence circular is a piece of intelligence, often sensitive and potentially critical, that is shared between intelligence teams and operatives on an ad-hoc basis.
For many, the idea of an intelligence circular evokes nostalgic thoughts - an image of wartime intelligence operatives running from room to room and smuggling confidential documents in brown envelopes, up and down the country, in person, or by pigeon. And with that very thought follows another. In our modern world of email and electronic communication, data feeds and APIs, and in the ‘instant result’ culture we have become so reliant on, do intelligence circulars still have a place in the modern world?
The intelligence circular is not the swiftest form of communication. It does not return sub-second responses that a dataset achieves. It remains a manual process, one that requires an intelligence operative’s specialist skills and unique knowledge to digest and apply the lessons which ought to be taken from the information provided.
Despite not being swift or automated, I would argue that an intelligence circular is still relevant today. The written form of communication provides not just data, or raw information, but carefully considered insight into the intelligence to be shared and acted upon. It enables intelligence and counter-fraud teams to work together and build vast accurate pictures of the threat. And, critically, intelligence circulars are a key tool in results that may not be possible otherwise.
So, while an old-fashioned practise, intelligence circulars still have a firm place in a modernised world but it’s fair to say they have evolved with the times. While the method of delivery has changed (we now deliver electronically without a pigeon in sight), the objective remains exactly the same. That is: to gather and share intelligence on subjects that are suspected to be involved in criminal activity.
The Insight Team at Crawford Legal Services can share intelligence with you in relation to suspicious fraudulent activity. If you would like to be part of our intelligence-sharing practise or would like further information, we’d be delighted to hear from you: email@example.com