Basics of Crime Analysis

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Basics of Crime Analysis
Crime analysis is an important method used by law enforcement agencies. It assists them in a number of areas including reducing and preventing crime. Using data gathered by various sources, Crime Analysts help their departments answer the who, where and why’s of crime. During their studies, Crime Analyst’s follow a specific process: data collection, data collation, analysis, dissemination and finally feedback. Data collection begins when a crime is reported. Information gathered by police officers and/or police dispatchers is entered into a computer system where the data is stored. It is important the data be collected within a reasonably short time from incident. Data is collected and stored for several years so that a thorough analysis can be reached. The next step in the Crime Analysis Process is data collation. Data collation involves many tasks but normally involves three steps: correcting mistakes, geocoding (combining crime analysis data with geographical data), and creation of new variables (using and comparing old and new data). Once the data has been collected, corrected and updated the analyst then begins the analysis. During the analysis, the analyst looks for patterns and trends in crime. They look at what crimes are being committed, where they are being committed and who is committing them. Once the analysis is completed, the analyst is ready to report their findings. This is the dissemination step of the Crime Analysis Process. Methods of dissemination can include paper reports and maps, presentations, emails, internet documents, and phone calls. The audience for crime analysis information include: police officers, police management, citizens, students, other analysts and the news media. (Boba, 12) The final step in the process is feedback. Once results have been disseminated, the analyst receives feedback from the individuals to whom they provided the information. Analyst may receive feedback about the quality of...
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