Monday, May 19, 2014

Extremely Cool Interactive Breakdown Of The UK's Intelligence Community

Nick Hare (the Head of Futures and Analytic Methods at the UK Ministry of Defense) and his team of analysts put together this interesting presentation that breaks down the UK Intel community.  He notes in the LinkedIn post where he first announced it that "The sizes of the parts roughly correspond to numbers of people and / or budgets."

Good stuff!


David Sharp said...

The Association of Chief Constables has a purview covering only England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The diagram is incomplete as it doesn't describe the relationship with police services and associated analyst and terror response units in Scotland. As a description of the entire UK apparatus it is therefore incomplete.

david page said...


The 'breakdown' is an introductory diagram to help newly arrived analysts working in the UK Mininstry of Defence, based on an open source document provided by the ISC - which has no formal oversight over the intelligence role of the police. See:

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) does not formally cover Scotland, which had its own ACPO (Scotland) until April 2013, when policing in Scotland became a national body. See: and

Cooperation across the Scottish border has greatly changed, it is not seamless, but there are procedures, legal agreements and more to ensure it works well. Terrorism is but one issue.

Note the biggest changes came after the Lockerbie disaster, in 1988, when issues did arise.

When the Glasgow Airport bombing, in 2007 occurred CT cooperation was seamless, as then then national lead has stated publicly.

Yes there are other state bodies involved in intelligence work, although their main focus is tactical rather than strategic, e.g. immigration.

At least we have this easy introduction in the public domain.

David Sharp said...

Yes, I am aware of the kinds of cooperation you refer to. However, it strikes me as both inappropriate and irresponsible to miss out a key point such as police jurisdiction. Simplification is one thing but at a time when the union is under threat politically, one would hope that top officials would take greater care at ensuring analysts are aware of the actual situation across different parts of the UK.

Accuracy is not a lot to ask for. If the police-intelligence relationship in another part of the UK, England for example, had been inaccurately represented that would hardly be brushed under the carpet as an acceptable simplification.

Either this diagram is accurate and trustworthy, or it is not. To write off the error as acceptable speaks volumes about central government's view of defence and intelligence issues in non-metropolitan parts of the UK. Either we are all British or we are not. Rubbish like this plays right into the SNP hands.