Crime Analysts and Community safety
Crime analysis is a law enforcement function that involves systematic analysis for identifying and analyzing patterns and trends in crime and disorder. Crime analysis also plays a role in devising solutions to crime problems, and formulating crime prevention strategies.
Crime analysts have made themselves indispensable by providing police with vital intelligence and information regarding growing crime trends. They also analyze data from a variety of sources to help law enforcement managers make better decisions on how and where to employ their resources and manpower and become more efficient in fighting crime.
Crime analysts study criminal patterns in an effort to predict the time, place and day that a crime might occur. They do this by way of computer databases that they design in order to gather and study criminal data. Crime analysts not only use the information they gather to identify criminals but to target possible suspects as well.
There are several types of data that crime analysts use:
- Tactical analysis is concerned with immediate and high level threats such as murders, theft, rape and abduction.
- Strategical analysis is focused on properly deploying and utilizing law enforcement officers.
- The administrative side of analyzing crime concentrates on supplying the heads of law enforcement agencies with their findings and making sure that the police have the resources that they need to perform their jobs.
The work activities and tasks of a crime analyst include:
- Gathering and analyzing crime statistics ;
- Providing information on demand ;
- Producing reports ;
- Developing intelligence ;
- Advising police commanders ;
- Identifying criminal trends, including emerging problems ;
- Finding series, patterns, trends, and hot spots as they happen ;
- Using crime mapping technology ;
- Using computer-aided dispatch programs ;
- Researching and analyzing long-term problems and presenting response strategies ;
- Developing and linking local intelligence ;
- making your department look good.
Community safety initiatives aim to reduce offending behaviour and also the negative impact on both individuals and the communities of which they are a part. This approach seeks to improve their individual and collective quality of life by addressing concerns regarding the wider physical and social environment.
The term ‘community safety’ is now widely used by academics, police officers, politicians, local authority workers and others involved in localised action against crime.
Its focus is much wider as it looks at introducing physical and social changes in line with local priorities to local environments as a way of preventing crime and disorder from taking place.
Community safety should allow citizens to pursue and obtain the fullest benefits from their social and economic lives without fear or hindrance from crime and disorder.
Generally, community safety can be seen to mean more than the widely used terms crime reduction or crime prevention. The term community safety is used where the focus of attention is on both efforts to reduce or prevent crime and disorder and on securing social and economic change to tackle the root causes of crime and disorder and so prevent it re-occurring.