MLR3C14000 - Appendix 3: The National Intelligence Model (5x5x5)

A number of law enforcement agencies and the Police service use the National Intelligence Model. It allows intelligence to be correctly evaluated where the original source is not made known to the recipient. It is sometimes known informally as the 5x5x5 system.

The model grades the source of the intelligence by 5 letters, A to E, it evaluates the information as a score of 1 to 5 and on the same basis indicates who has access to the information.

5x5x5 Intelligence Report


  • A - Always reliable
  • B - Mostly reliable
  • C - Sometimes reliable
  • D - Unreliable
  • E - Untested source


  • 1 - Known to be true without reservation
  • 2- Known personally to source but not to officer
  • 3 - Not personally known to source but corroborated
  • 4 - Cannot be judged
  • 5 - Suspected to be false or malicious


To be completed at time of entry into an intelligence system and reviewed on dissemination

  • 1 - May be disseminated to other law enforcement and prosecuting agencies, including law enforcement agencies within the EEA, and EU compatible (no special conditions)
  • 2- May be disseminated to UK non-prosecuting parties (authorisation and records needed)
  • 3- May be disseminated to non-EEA law enforcement agencies (special conditions apply)
  • 4- May be disseminated within the originating agency only
  • 5- No further dissemination: refer to the originator. Special handling requirements imposed by the officer who authorised collection

As an example, NCIS material is usually (but not always) designated B35. The reasons are as follows:

B: The source is mostly reliable (Generally from financial sector sources)

3: Not personally known to the source, but corroborated evidence (Customer of banks, accountants, solicitors etc)

5: Special handling requirements (The strict control as agreed between NCIS/HMRC)

Further details on who and how 5x5x5s are used can be found in the Enforcement Handbook