University of Leicester intelligence expert receives highest recognition from the National Crime Agency

Posted by pt91 at Aug 01, 2018 12:24 PM |
Director General's Commendation acknowledges contribution to professionalisation and internationalisation

Issued by University of Leicester on 1 August 2018

A fascination with the inner workings of the intelligence services has led to a University of Leicester academic receiving the highest recognition of the National Crime Agency, the Director General's Commendation.

Dr Rob Dover is Associate Professor in Intelligence and International Security in the University’s School of History, Politics and International Relations. His commendation recognises his outstanding contribution to the professionalisation of officers, and his contribution to the internationalisation of the National Crime Agency through the 5 Eyes Strategic Intelligence Programme.

The NCA is an intelligence-led law enforcement agency that deals with some areas of crime and security issues that Dr Dover’s research focuses on. All intelligence agencies have gone through processes of professionalisation and change since the inquiries of the early 2000s. The NCA is the latest to take on this challenge as they seek to address the rapidly proliferating, diverse and complex challenges they face.

Dr Dover has worked both as an academic and has advised various parts of government on this agenda. Using his research insights into intelligence transformation he has been able to assist the NCA in their own professionalisation process, in the role of critical friend.

He also established the first Five Eyes Law Enforcement Group summer school at the University’s College Court conference centre in July 2017, helping to internationalise the work of the NCA. The course broke new ground and drew together an international cadre of officers, and is seen as important foundational step to refining common working practices between the relevant agencies.

Dr Dover said: “I met the NCA's lead for professionalisation whilst at an intelligence conference, and he said he'd read some of my research and asked whether I would be interested in making a practical contribution to the Agency's work. It seemed an excellent opportunity to provide open source challenge to the agency and make use of my curiosity-led research.

“I have an intellectual interest in avoiding surprises. I like the horizon scanning aspect of intelligence, of seeing threats before anyone else. We also tend to describe intelligence as 'the hidden wiring' but it is both eminently discoverable, and also the absolute key to state formation and maintenance of the state today.”

His experience working closely with intelligence professionals even informs his approach to teaching as his courses are designed to help students become more critically engaged citizens, to challenge on the basis of evidence and to be able to communicate with a great deal of precision. These skills are not unique to intelligence, but are particularly necessary to intelligence research and complementary to many other professions.

Commenting on his commendation, Dr Dover said: “It's a rare treat! The Commendation is the highest award given by the Agency itself in recognising exceptional contributions to its work. As academics we do not often get such conspicuous recognition for our efforts and I feel proud to have been recognised in this way.

“It is a recognition of the impact my research has had on the practitioner field and is also a recognition of how the University of Leicester leads in engagements with intelligence-led organisations both in the UK and abroad.”

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