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The increasing rate of daytime robberies in City X requires an urgent response. The first step in the said direction is the creation of a strategic plan outlining the key components of the intervention. The following paper presents a draft of a strategic plan including the required analysis and synthesis processes, the list of units involved, and the description of equipment necessary for the project’s success.
To deal with the robberies effectively and produce a lasting effect, it is necessary to outline a plan that would include the key areas of activities. The most feasible place to start is the existing bulk of data. Therefore, the first step would be the examination of the reports available from the nearby police departments. This move will provide the investigation with a list of the key stakeholders as well as an approximate picture of the issue at hand.
Second, the available video footage of the crime scenes should be requested and reviewed to obtain first-hand information. Simultaneously, selected witnesses and victims from the recent robberies need to be contacted and interviewed to obtain the comprehensive accounts for the cases with inconsistencies. Fourth, the forensic evidence should be requested for analysis whenever the initial findings are considered incomplete.
After the consistency of the data is ensured, the fifth recommended step is to contact the police organizations within the city and locate the data on the robberies, which would make it possible to spot the similarities in the cases. Once enough data is collected, the sixth step would be to systematize it into a meaningful report outlining the main trends of the crimes (e.g. location and time of the day). Seventh, the report will be converted to visual format via mapping tools.
Eighth, the local agencies and impacted stakeholders will be contacted based on the information derived from the map. Ninth, the findings should be corroborated by contacting the organizations from the neighboring cities and inquiring about the similar increases observed in their areas. Finally, as a tenth step, the possible indirect influences on the rise in robberies will be analyzed and invited for collaboration if necessary.
The success of the plan depends largely on the quality and relevance of the technology used by law enforcement in the investigation process. The technology necessary for assisting the campaign in question can be grouped into four categories. The first category includes advanced forensic tools necessary for obtaining high-quality data from the crime scenes. Fuming kits for cyanoacrylate fingerprinting as well as vapor wands fall into this category.
The second group involves tools that log and store evidence. The most common example is a video surveillance system such as a traffic camera that may offer footage from the scene of the crime. The third, and possibly the most important category involves tools for processing and synthesizing data (Wyllie, 2013). This group includes mapping tools for aggregating data on robberies and converting it into a meaningful geographical summary, and various databases of forensics (e.g. Combined DNA Information System utilized by numerous law enforcement organizations) (FBI, 2017).
The computational capacity of the modern data analysis platforms can significantly decrease the time required for the analysis and produce more reliable findings. Finally, communication technology will be necessary to successfully conduct an investigation, both for internal use (to establish communication among the police officers) and to obtain information from outside sources (e.g. anonymous reports of criminal activities from citizens) (United States Government, 2017). The recent advances in encryption of data would allow for more secure storage and transfer of data and decrease the possibility of security breaches.
The most apparent measures that can be used in the analysis of the criminal activity in the city are the reports of the police departments within the area. While the reports contain limited information on robberies, the most important data for the initial analysis (the location of each robbery and the list of victims and witnesses) should be available in all cases. Once this initial data is retrieved, the next step would be to examine the evidence collected at the scene (including video footage) to gain additional insights wherever appropriate.
Once a satisfactory profile of the majority of crimes is formed, the data from the neighboring zones can be requested and matched to the findings of the analytical department to verify the implications of the results. Simultaneously, the historical data on robberies will be located and examined for consistency with the newly found trends so that any apparent similarities or anomalies could improve our understanding of the issue.
Once all of the potentially valuable data is retrieved from the identified sources, it will be possible to synthesize it into a unified picture. This can be done quantitatively (by processing numerical data) and visually (by mapping the results).
The quantitative aspect would require the robbery data to be distributed on a certain timescale (e.g. annual basis). In this way, it will be possible to understand the rate of change in criminal activities in the area and express it in an accessible form (Santos, 2017). Next, the incorporation of historical data can be added to the synthesis. This move may account for the possible anomalies in data and further improve the validity of data since it will allow for a comparison of the results to those from the previous years.
Once the data is processed, it can be added to the database where it can be filtered and sorted based on one of the several parameters such as the date of the event, the number of individuals involved, the geographical location of the robbery, and the approximate time of the day. The formation of the database will also allow for generating charts and graphs of the entire dataset as well as its selected segments. To assist the process, it will also be necessary to transfer the data onto a map of the city to visualize the per-region activity of the crimes. The most appropriate tool for this task is the Geographical Information Software (GIS) which is commonly used by law enforcement entities for similar tasks (ArcGIS, n.d.).
Investigative Unit Types
The effective facilitation of the plan would require the involvement of several types of units. First, a primary investigation unit needs to be formed from the officers of the city’s police departments. It is also recommended to collaborate with the organizations from the surrounding jurisdictions to create investigative divisions outside the city’s jurisdiction. Next, the handling and analysis of the evidence collected from the scenes as well as the collection of new evidence in the future necessitate the introduction of a forensics unit. To prevent the challenges associated with the complexity of the sophisticated technological tools it is recommended to form an analytics unit. Finally, if the number of patrol officers in the city is determined insufficient, it might be necessary to introduce additional patrolling units.
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Necessary Supplies and Equipment
Aside from the standard equipment issued to police officers, it will be necessary to ensure the availability of the data analysis tools. Depending on the diversity of the variables involved, these tools may be in the form of simple spreadsheet suites or statistical data analysis software. Next, the advanced forensics equipment should be available to the investigators such as fuming kits for fingerprint collection.
Next, the GIS suite would be necessary to produce and update an interactive map of the robberies. Finally, a database solution will be needed that would ensure a sufficient level of accessibility for the investigators and security for minimization of the likelihood of the data breach. Finally, if the scope of the project would require the hiring of the additional staff, the patrolling units will need to be equipped with vehicles.
Since most of the listed equipment is relatively expensive, application for grants may be required to ensure an adequate supply of the project. The Community Policing Development Program offered by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services is one of the viable directions to pursue additional funding (COPS, 2016). The program assists in the local efforts to reduce criminal activities.
Addressing robberies on a city-wide scale is a task that requires consistent planning. The suggested plan focuses on the analysis of the available evidence intended to facilitate a coordinated community-wide response to the issue. The reliance on statistical data and mapping is expected to contribute to the validity of the obtained data and eventually result in the apprehension of the individuals responsible.
ArcGIS. (n.d.). Repeat and near-repeat analysis. Web.
COPS. (2016). COPS office FY 2016 application guide: Community Policing Development (CPD). Web.
FBI. (2017). Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). Web.
Santos, R. B. (2017). Crime analysis with crime mapping (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage publications.
United States Government. (2017). Reporting crime. Web.
Wyllie, D. (2013). How ‘Big Data’ is helping law enforcement. Web.