12 September 2022 - The CRIMJUST project “Strengthening criminal justice responses to drug trafficking and related organized crimein Coastal Francophone countries in West Africa” held a two-week training on “Criminal Intelligence Analysis” from 12 to 23 September 2022, in Cotonou, for 20 analysts from Benin and Togo. This training, funded by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) of the U.S. State Department, joins CRIMJUST efforts in promoting intelligence-led policing and marks a significant step towards developing intelligence research and analysis capability of two investigative units in Togo and Benin. A total of 20 participants attended the training, including 5 female officers.
Over the course of two weeks, UNODC experts outlined criminal intelligence mechanisms and decision-making procedures to encourage a structured analytical approach to intelligence collection. These theoretical sessions, in addition to focusing on phases of the intelligence cycle or organizational processes, looked at preventing biases and outlining link analysis and event charging.
These sessions were interwoven with a 10-day transnational drug mock investigation. As participants were progressively fed with new pieces of intelligence, they were required to utilize new knowledge and practices to discern through vast amounts of intelligence and bolster their intelligence and collection, while ensuring full compliance with Human Rights and international legislation.
This exercise culminated with an operational briefing to their supervisors on the final day of training. Participants were required to deliver the main results of their intelligence report and provide informed recommendations to the head investigator.
Following this capacity-building activity, UNODC, thanks to the support of INL, donated 10 laptops to each unit to further back their efforts to streamline intelligence-led policing as part of their investigations. Mr. Matthew Briggs, INL Acting Director at the U.S. Embassy in Cotonou, Mr. Allassane Oudou, Financial and Administrative Affairs Director for the Beninese Republican Police, and UNODC Head of Office for Benin, Ms. Vanessa Fleming, attended the handing over ceremony. While Mr. Oudou expressed his appreciation to UNODC and INL, Mr. Briggs reiterated the United States’ commitment to working alongside Togolese and Beninese authorities to prevent and prosecute the rise in drug trafficking in the sub-region as well as underscored the importance of developing multistakeholder initiatives to ensure greater sustainability of drug responses. Meanwhile, Ms. Fleming, recalled the collection, the analysis and dissemination of criminal intelligence to be integral to optimizing operational results and to ensure evidence-based decision-making.
In their feedback, participants overwhelmingly found the training to have not only strengthened their capacity to carry out, the roles and responsibilities of an analyst in transnational organized crime cases, but to have also bolstered their confidence and public-speaking skills. In fact, 65 per cent of participants reported to be perfectly confident in now delivering an intelligence briefing to leadership, while 35 per cent stated they were confident.
This capacity-building activity was funded by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) of the U.S. State Department and organized under the framework of CRIMJUST - Criminal Network Disruption Global Programme. This Global Programme CRIMJUST is funded by the European Union and by the US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). It seeks to enhance law enforcement and judicial counter-narcotic strategies beyond interdiction activities and to foster transnational responses targeting each stage of the drug supply chain.
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