Using Groupware to Gather and Analyze Intelligence in a Public Setting: Development of Integral Safety Plans in an Electronic Meeting

Using Groupware to Gather and Analyze Intelligence in a Public Setting: Development of Integral Safety Plans in an Electronic Meeting

Etiënne Rouwette (University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands) and Jac A.M. Vennix (University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-142-1.ch005
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Abstract

This chapter focuses on the use of groupware to support local governments in activities in the intelligence cycle. Local governments in The Netherlands have a central role in developing integral safety plans for their district. However, in the implementation of safety plans the contribution of partner organizations such as the fire department and police force is indispensable. Each of the partners may have its own priorities with regard to safety. Using electronic meetings, representatives of all partner organizations identify safety problems within their district and decide on the priority of issues. In two meetings of four hours each, safety problems are analyzed and conclusions formulated to which partners feel committed. This article describes the design of the meetings and reports on results for nine municipalities. Results indicate that participants find that the electronic meetings contribute to intelligence activities. Participants feel the quality of communication in the sessions is high, and their insight into the problem is increased. The sessions support dissemination of intelligence, as shown by an increase in consensus on the problem and commitment to conclusions. Electronic meetings therefore seem an effective and practical way to support key activities in the intelligence cycle, and to develop policies that will be implemented.

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