The world faces the process of rapid globalization and the extreme development of modern technologies. Numerous devices have become integral parts of everyday life. Technologies have been implemented in various spheres of human activity. The usage of technology for crime analysis revolutionized crime prevention. Technologically-aided crime analysis is a promising way of fighting with the criminal world that requires particular methods of information gathering and retrieving and results in several benefits for communities and law enforcement.
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According to Grant and Terry (2008), any crime analysis should assist police managers in comprehending the nature of a particular problem and taking necessary measures. Thus, technologies should help to collect and analyze data and prevent or react to the crime. The essential technology for crime analysis is GIS — geographic information systems. This technology provides the possibility to examine the geographical location of criminals. Disorder events, places of the commitment, the usage of land can be evaluated in such ways that give new insight into the problem. With the help of GIS, police officers can be able to predict the further development of the crime. Besides, these systems are useful for arranging police officers during various operations. GIS resulted in the advanced methods of crime mapping — visual depicting incidents on the map and their analysis. An accurate crime analysis should be accomplished when the police officer can evaluate the previous similar cases.
There is the technology that allows the police department to look for necessary information from one place. Record management systems have been developed for this purpose. Thus, police agencies enter information in the systems and make it available for further usage. Spreadsheet software represents the other system of data organization. This system allows police agencies to analyze a large amount of data and find some connections between crimes or events. Analysts also use spreadsheet software for statistical analysis. There are also technologies that were specially designed to satisfy the needs of police agencies. CrimeStat, Crime Analysis Extension, GeoBalance, and other systems stand for some specially designed technologies (Santos, 2012). Crime analysts use a variety of methods for data collection, storing, and retrieving. These processes are necessary for successful crime analysis as far as they help to receive additional materials and evaluate the situation from a particular perspective.
The choice of the method depends on the purpose of the crime analysis. Police agencies may use a group of qualitative methods to collect information that is not numerical. First, field research is the qualitative approach that aims at collecting data concerning a particular event. Field research is conducted with the help of other methods. These methods include observation and face-to-face interviews. The technique of content analysis is the second method that presupposes the reviewing of existing reports connected with particular cases. Such techniques give the opportunity to gather as much information as possible from various sources and analyze it.
The next group includes quantitative methods. Here belong general methods of statistical analysis such as percentages, rates, or frequencies. Together with record management systems, spreadsheet software can be used as the source of information as well. These types assist in storing and retrieving information (Kleck, Tark, & Bellows, 2006). The significance of the described methods for crime analysis should not be underestimated. It also should be noted that a profound investigation is possible when various techniques are utilized. For instance, any analysis starts with observation and information collecting.
However, it cannot be completed without the statistical data, their comparison, and evaluation. The comprehensive and profound crime analysis is of great importance for law enforcement and the community. Crime analysis is a part of law enforcement activities. Its primary goal is to collect and evaluate information relevant to wrongdoing prevention. The first benefit lies in the fact that police agencies can use the data for identifying the reasons for crime or potential suspects. The second advantage refers to the formulation of particular crime prevention strategies on the basis of the analysis.
Thus, crime analysis improves the system of law enforcement by providing additional possibilities to react to crimes adequately and prepare for potential threats. Crime analysis is also helpful in communities. The first benefit concerns the possibility of analyzing local data to identify potential risks. The analyst can gather information about the residents of the area, previous crimes, and find some connections. In such a way, police officers may know who is dangerous for public safety and monitor that person or organization. The second benefit refers to the direct reaction to the crime. Taking into account previous data, the crime analyst can suggest the most appropriate way of reaction.
Crime analysis can be conducted with the help of numerous modern technologies. GIS, record management system and spreadsheet software are essential. The necessary information for crime analysis can be collected and stored with the help of a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods. As a result, a profound crime analysis provides evident benefits for both law enforcement and the community.
Grant, H., & Terry, K. (2008). Law Enforcement in the 21 Century. Upper Saddle River, USA: Prentice Hall.
Kleck, G., Tark, J., & Bellows, J. (2006). What methods are most frequently used in research in criminology and criminal justice. Journal of Criminal Justice, 34(2), 147-152.
Santos, R. (2012). Crime Analysis with Crime Mapping. New York, USA: SAGE Publications, Inc.