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Crime Mapping, Crime Analysis, & Problem Analysis

Crime Analysis Case Studies

Greg Jones and Mary Malina, Editors (2011)

With support from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, the Police Foundation developed this collection of case studies that examine practical yet unique crime and disorder problems. These case studies are written by crime analysts and practitioners to demonstrate the processes, tools, and research crime analysts use to understand as well as to find viable, comprehensive solutions to crime and disorder problems. Each case study draws upon an analyst’s experience, training, and basic problem-solving skills; however, several draw upon the problem-analysis process as well. Each case study follows a uniform format using SARA, which enables a systematic review of a problem to facilitate well-developed, targeted response(s).


Crime Analysis and Crime Mapping Information Clearinghouse 2006

This clearinghouse provides a comprehensive list of bibliographic and Internet resources that may be useful to practitioners and researchers interested in the disciplines of problem analysis, crime analysis, and crime mapping. The bibliographic references are composed of books, articles, and reports that relate to topics such as crime analysis, problem solving, geographic information systems (GIS), crime mapping, and Internet mapping. The Internet resources provided at the end of the document include links to additional sources of information concerning crime analysis and crime mapping. This edition contains over 130 new bibliographic references, which indicates the increase in research and practice in this emerging field of crime analysis, GIS, and crime mapping. Finally, there is a new resource category entitled “Journey to Crime” that has been added to the clearinghouse.


Crime Analysis and Mapping Product Templates (2001)

The crime analysis and mapping product templates have been designed to serve as models for law enforcement analysts who wish to prepare standardized crime analysis reports, bulletins, and maps. The Police Foundation’s Crime Mapping Laboratory has collected over 100 examples of crime analysis reports (annual, monthly, weekly, and daily reports of crime and calls for service), memos, crime trend bulletins, and maps submitted by 20 law enforcement agencies across the United States. The products we received range from simple, one-page bulletins or maps to more detailed problem-solving reports that include multiple tables, charts, and maps. After collecting these examples from the field, we categorized and analyzed them to look for commonalities in format, content, relevance, and overall effectiveness in conveying information in a concise manner. With this knowledge, we have created 11 product templates that can be adapted for use by any law enforcement agency.


Crime Mapping News


Crossing the Borders of Crime: Factors Influencing the Utility and Practicality of Interjurisdictional Crime Mapping 

John E. Eck (2002)

Mapping across jurisdictions has emerged as a major problem in the integration of crime mapping into police problem solving. Crime problems often cross jurisdictional boundaries, while crime analysis is often based within specific jurisdictions. John Eck, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati, argues the main impediments to the development of effective cross-jurisdictional crime mapping systems lie not in the technologies but in the organizational structures and patterns of police agencies.


Frequently Asked Questions of Crime Analysis and Mapping (2001)

This is a list of five frequently asked questions and answers gleaned from the Police Foundation Crime Mapping &Problem Analysis Laboratory’s technical assistance efforts. The answer to each question includes links to other crime analysis and mapping resources, such as publications and Web pages that provide useful and comprehensive information about that particular topic.


Guidelines to Implement and Evaluate Crime Analysis and Mapping in Law Enforcement (2000)

This document is meant to serve as a guide for the processes of implementing and evaluating crime analysis and mapping for law enforcement agencies that do not currently have the function in place as well as those that are looking to reevaluate and restructure their current crime analysis and mapping functions. It provides a general outline for (1) developing a needs assessment, (2) creating an action plan based on the assessment, and (3) conducting an evaluation of crime analysis and mapping. This report is not meant to be a step-by-step guide for these three processes but instead offers suggestions and guidance on what and how to collect relevant information, while citing practical examples.


Integrated Intelligence and Crime Analysis: Enhanced Information Management for Law Enforcement Leaders

Jerry H. Ratcliffe (2007)

(To order a printed copy, contact the COPS Response Center at 1-800-421-6770 or use the COPS Publications Request Form.)

Data and information about the criminal environment and criminal activity abound: the challenge is to corral this wealth of data into knowledge that can enhance decision making, improve strategies to combat crime, and increase crime prevention benefits. In other words, the aim is to convert data and information into actionable intelligence. This report is designed to identify the key challenges limiting criminal intelligence sharing, the aims of the integrated analysis model, and the way that all police departments, big or small, can work individually and collectively towards the new intelligence-led policing paradigm of modern policing.


Integrating Community Policing and Computer Mapping: Assessing Issues and Needs Among COPS Office Grantees (2000)

This report discusses the results of a telephone survey of 51 law enforcement agencies that have received funding from the COPS Office. This survey was conducted by the Crime Mapping Laboratory to determine the agencies’ development as users of computer mapping and to facilitate the successful implementation of the technology. Although the findings of the survey are not generalizable to all agencies, they are suggestive and provide valuable insight into the issues and problems that some law enforcement agencies face as they integrate crime mapping into their operations.


Introductory Guide to Crime Analysis and Mapping (2001)

This introductory guide was developed from the curriculum for the "Introduction to Crime Analysis Mapping and Problem Solving" training course conducted by members of the Police Foundation's Crime Mapping Laboratory in 2001 and funded by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. The purpose of this document is to convert the information presented in the training into a succinct and readable report that makes it available to a larger audience than was reached through the training sessions. It is not intended to be a comprehensive document on crime analysis, crime mapping, and problem solving, but rather a "starter" guidebook for someone just entering the field or a reference manual for current crime analysts or other law enforcement analysts. The format of the document follows the format of the training slides loosely, but it is not necessary to read them together.


Manual of Crime Analysis Map Production (2000)

Through discussion and comprehensive examples, this manual provides guidelines for introductory-level crime analysis mapping for use in a law enforcement environment. To produce accurate and effective crime maps, there are three initial factors to consider: (1) the purpose of the map, (2) the audience of the map, and (3) the types of data to include in the map. These considerations often dictate the type of map that will be used and the method of presentation. This manual begins with a brief examination of these initial factors, follows with a discussion of the types of maps and design elements, and concludes with five comprehensive examples that illustrate the process of crime analysis mapping.


Mapping for Community-Based Prisoner Reentry Efforts: A Guidebook for Law Enforcement Agencies and Their Partners

Nancy G. La Vigne (2007)

(To order a printed copy, contact the COPS Response Center at 1-800-421-6770 or use the COPS Publications Request Form.)

Mapping can provide valuable information on how prisoner reentry is affecting local communities, and the extent to which existing resources and services are addressing the needs of reentering populations. The purpose of this guidebook is to explore ways in which mapping can aid police responses to prisoner reentry. This guidebook raises and answers a series of questions designed to walk the reader through the logic of why and how police can take an active role in prisoner reentry efforts and how mapping can aid in those efforts. It describes the reasons behind, and strategies for, engaging in data-sharing partnerships with corrections agencies, followed by a description of useful maps that can be produced. Special attention is paid to describing the various obstacles both to forging reentry partnerships and to mapping reentry data and how those obstacles can be surmounted. The guidebook closes with a discussion of how police agencies, in partnership with corrections, service providers, and community representatives, can use maps to influence changes in policies, practices, and procedures to better enhance public safety by reducing recidivism among released prisoners and apprehending those who do recidivate swiftly and efficiently.


Mapping in Police Agencies: Beyond This Point There Be Monsters

Lawrence Travis III and Kenneth D. Hughes (2002)

This monograph explores why more American law enforcement agencies haven’t adopted and fully utilized computerized crime mapping. Travis and Hughes propose that mapping is in an early stage of the innovation cycle and its acceptance and use will accelerate in time. The authors also suggest that computerized crime mapping, despite its potential, remains largely unexplored because it may present unforeseen perils for agencies and executives.


Problem Analysis In Policing

Rachel Boba (2003)

This report introduces and defines problem analysis and provides guidance on how problem analysis can be integrated and institutionalized into modern policing practices. This report is not a "how to" guide on conducting problem analysis, but is a summary of ideas and recommendations about what problem analysis is, what skills and knowledge are necessary to conduct it, and how it can be advanced by the police community, academia, the federal government, and other institutions. The ideas and recommendations in this report come primarily from a two-day forum conducted in February 2002 by the Police Foundation and the US Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), in which a group of academics, practitioners, and policy makers came together to discuss problem analysis and make recommendations for its progress. This report is a culmination of the concepts and ideas that were discussed in the forum.


Selecting the Best Analyst for the Job: A Model Crime Analyst Assessment Process for Law Enforcement Agencies

Karen L. Amendola and Greg Jones (2010)

(To order a printed copy, contact the COPS Response Center at 1-800-421-6770 or use the COPS Publications Request Form.)

The rapid growth in applications and usage of crime mapping and analysis in law enforcement agencies in recent years has increased job opportunities for new analysts. As crime analysis has become an established profession, there is a need for consensus about the specific knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics and the extent of formalized training necessary for new analysts. Through various discussion channels, including in-house forums, focus groups, visits with crime analysis units, and participation at annual crime mapping conferences, the Police Foundation’s Crime Mapping and Problem Analysis Laboratory recognized the importance of creating hiring standards and a systematic and comprehensive hiring process for selecting highly capable crime analysts. This publication and accompanying CD-ROM focus on defining the job of a crime analyst and on a model procedure for selecting the best possible crime analyst for a law enforcement agency.


Users' Guide to Mapping Software for Police Agencies (8th edition) (2006)

This report provides an overview of a wide range of mapping software and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), focusing on their functionality and the features that may be of use to law enforcement analysts. Products reviewed in this report encompass a wide range of categories or subject areas, and perform a variety of functions, including: 1) data acquisition and data management, 2) geocoding, 3) crime mapping and analysis, 4) Internet mapping, 5) redistricting, 6) emergency management, 7) routing software, and 8) others, including products from each of the following specialized areas: audio-visual mapping, cartography, data mining, drawing/design, GIS applications development, geospatial imaging, geographic incident tracking/mapping, intelligence analysis, investigative analysis, resource allocation, records management, spatial data analysis, and spatial information systems. The review includes information related to: manufacturer, relevant area of application, contact information, the GIS and operating platforms necessary for the product, and a brief product description.