Risk Analysis and Threat Assessment

Risk analysis is a woking technique to identify and assess factors that may jeopardize the successful work of law enforcement agencies. This technique also helps to define preventive measures to reduce the probability of these factors from occurring and identify countermeasures to successfully deal with these constraints when they develop to avert possible negative effects.

Risk analyses and threat assessments are specific methods applied within law enforcement agencies to enhance national security through effective border control. This is done in order to facilitate improvements both on the managerial side (i.e. resources, training, facilities, equipment) and on the operational side (i.e. methods, indicators, profiles). On the strategic level, risk analyses combine the relevant strategic intelligence products (i.e. threat and risk assessments) with the results of operational-level risk analyses.

Risk analyses aim to assess the vulnerabilities of a society and the police management system itself. This is a general intelligence task that can be arranged either within or outside law enforcement agencies. Yet, the information gained in operational security management is an essential contribution to this sort of intelligence product.

As the different levels of law enforcement management (i.e. the tactical, operational and strategic levels) require different settings of priorities in the analysis, the plan defines additional terms as follows:

  • Tactical risk analysis, which means providing and/or utilising relevant information for real-time profiling of border-crossing targets (border crossing means individual travellers or transport of goods). This profiling is to be made in order to find the most likely violators that should be suppressed by control measures exceeding the normal level. This kind of analyses should be supported by systematically processed intelligence information that would preferably be provided by separate intelligence personnel serving either in a border control authority or in some other law enforcement agencies.
  • Operational risk analysis means analytical (mainly statistical) methods to be used in order to evaluate the effectiveness of a border security and management system, to make an estimate of the level of hidden irregularities (which remain unrevealed by the authorities), and to find systemic gaps. A unit of the responsible border law enforcement agency that has personnel with the respective analytical skills must conduct this analysis.
  • Strategic risk analysis is a combination of strategic threat assessment and operational risk analysis to enable decision-makers to develop counter measures, changes in policies and even legislation.