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Crime Mapping


Submitted By KSBI
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Crime Mapping: A Modernized Tool for Efficient Law Enforcement

Criminologists are now using digital crime maps to create graphic representations of the spatial geography of crime (Siegel, 2012). This technology is a great example of taking an old, tried and true technique and modernizing it to make it exponentially more effective in modern day policing. By taking the old pushpin maps that have been used in every police department planning room for decades to track various crime metrics and converting them into digitized, searchable databases that incorporates crime data along with various other external data sources such as census and city planning data, law enforcement agencies are becoming more effective and efficient at suppressing crime.

Digital crime mapping systems are designed to help law enforcement agencies identify and combat crime by enabling them to correlate and analyze crime data from any given location within their geographical areas of operation. This ability to graphically represent high crime “hot spots” within a city, broken down by type of crime, exact location of crime as well as date and time of day of the crime are allowing police departments to better allocate resources for more effective enforcement and mitigation efforts. The most widely used type of program is the automated pin type, which is essentially the 21st century version of the old wall map full of red pushpins. Most agencies use the data provided from these systems to inform patrol officers and investigators of crime “hot spots” (the areas with the most pins). This intelligence then enables officers to conduct targeted patrols, which have been proven to be extremely effective at reducing crime in a specific area while keeping crime from spreading to surrounding areas. Subsequent to these targeted patrols, the departments can analyze and evaluate

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