Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to consider how the national intelligence model (NIM) of policing in Britain has been affected by changing patterns of mobility, since its inception in 2004.
Design/methodology/approach – Conceptually, the paper draws on the “new mobilities paradigm”. Empirically, it is based on a small, exploratory study, comprising analysis of investigations carried out over a three-month period in 2007 and 2008, by a serious and organised crime unit in a police force in England, and 11 interviews carried out in three police forces in England. The data are used for illustrative purposes only.
Findings – It is argued that increased levels of mobile criminality are impacting significantly on British police forces, placing considerable strain on the practical structures which underpin the NIM, and posing serious challenges to operational efficiency and effectiveness.
Originality/value – This paper makes a contribution by linking the social changes documented in the emergent social science field of “mobilities study” with changes in the organisation of criminality, particularly evident in the organisation of mobile criminality, which have presented routine opportunities for organised, transnational as well as “lower level” crime. Examining this phenomenon enables us to see that despite the attention paid to transnational policing in the organised crime literature, the burden of policing both organised and opportunistic crime continues to fall upon local police forces.