Mapping and Analysing Crime Data: Lessons from Research and Practice

Mapping and Analysing Crime Data: Lessons from Research and Practice

Mapping and Analysing Crime Data: Lessons from Research and Practice

Mapping and Analysing Crime Data: Lessons from Research and Practice

Synopsis

The book sets out methods used in the field of Geographical Information Systems and highlights areas of best practice, examines the types of problems to which spatial crime analysis can be applied, reviews the capabilities and limitations of existing techniques, and explores the future directions of spatial crime analysis and the need for training. It centers on a series of case studies highlighting the experiences of academics and practitioners in agencies centrally involved in the partnership approach to crime prevention.

Excerpt

Developments within the UK's criminal justice arena within the last five years have provided a favourable context for crime analysis and mapping. In particular the statutory requirement under the Crime and Disorder Act (1998) for the police and local partnerships to undertake crime and disorder audits and produce strategies based on the results of these audits, has provided a powerful stimulus to the mapping and analysis of crime data.

Concurrent with the Crime and Disorder Act, police forces have been encouraged, by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Audit Commission, for example, to adopt 'problem-solving' approaches in dealing with incidents brought to their attention by the public. Such an approach, together with the encouragement of 'intelligence-led' policing and the development of the National Intelligence Model, places a heavy emphasis upon the use of analysis, and stresses its centrality in determining police responses and the targeting of police resources. More specifically, aspects of the current government's Crime Reduction Programme, particularly the burglary reduction and targeted policing initiatives, have attempted to foster crime analysis and the use of GIS by the police and other agencies to identify and tackle local problems.

Against this backdrop it is perhaps surprising that so little has been published in the UK in the way of guidance on the analysis and mapping of crime data, particularly high volume crime. While there has been a certain amount published in the United States, this book is the first attempt to provide a comprehensive account of the subject in the UK. Jerry Ratcliffe makes the point in his chapter that the 'recent shift within British policing towards a more decentralised, proactive style has shifted the analytical focus onto analysts and intelligence officers at the police divisional level who are now expected to be the hub of the local intelligence gathering effort. For high volume crime, this has left an analytical void'.

This book is an attempt to fill that void. It brings together work undertaken by leading individuals, both academics and practitioners, mainly from the UK but also from the United States. It provides examples of the application of crime analysis and mapping across a wide range of

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