Criminal investigation is an unpretentious, logical process that meets set of principles and step by step inquiry accompanied by a thorough assessment of evidence and recording the findings and finally presenting the findings in a detailed report showing the happenings in a crime and the perpetrators of a crime (Hess, & Orthmann, 2010). Criminal intelligence gathering, on the other hand, is the process of gathering evidence to support a prosecution process based on the forensic principle that in every contact, a trace is usually left (Randol, 2010).
Apart from the definitions above, there are other fundamental differences between criminal investigation and criminal intelligence gathering. Firstly, criminal investigation is normally done after a criminal act left (Randol, 2010). This all-encompassing process can be considered to be a response to a criminal act. It is also a means by which evidence gathered by criminal intelligence gathering process can be validated making it a reactive in nature. Conversely, criminal intelligence gathering can be done at any given time even without a prompt by a criminal act. As Randol documents, ‘intelligence gathering can be used to advance causes of national security’ (Randol, 2010).
Criminal investigation findings are rarely used for crime prevention purposes. This is because the investigation has an overarching idea on complete and a complete evaluation contrary to Criminal Intelligence gathering, which can be speculative and conjecture in nature rendering its use in crime prevention strategies by giving recommendations on how crimes can be curbed in future (Hess, & Orthmann, 2010).
Hess, K. M., Orthmann C. H. (2010). Criminal Investigation. Clifon Park, NY: Cengage
Randol, M. A. (2010). Homeland Security Intelligence: Perceptions, Statutory Definitions, and
Approaches. Pennsylvania, PA: Diane Publishing