What is crime analysis?
Crime analysis is the systematic evaluation of crime and disorder within a jurisdiction. This quickly growing field of study is being implemented across the nation. The use of crime analysis enables police departments to allocate and deploy resources in a more efficient, proactive manner. The use of crime analysis assists police in crime suppression and prevention, criminal apprehension, and evaluation. The central focus of the crime analysis unit is the study of crime (e.g. assault, robbery, burglary, larceny); quality of life concerns (e.g. suspicious activity, juvenile complaints, noise complaints); and information related to the offense, offenders, and victims or targets of crime.
The crime analyst identifies current crime series and patterns, as well as strategically analyzes long-term patterns of crime and disorder throughout the city. The increase in analytical software allows the analyst to identify “hot spots” of crime where officers can then be deployed strategically. “Hot spots” may by crime specific hot spots, repeat problem addresses, or repeat offenders, to name a few. Pertinent and timely information is relayed to the patrol, investigation, and administrative departments to assist in the efficient allocation of resources, aide in the investigation process, and identify offenders. The data-driven nature of the field allows the crime analyst to be central in developing long-term strategic plans along-side officers such as a burglary prevention campaign or street level drug reduction operation.