Statistical Data and Law Enforcement: From Incident to Evaluation

Before we talk about the data collection process, we need to take a brief look at the crime analysis process, the mindset if you will, practiced by crime and intelligence analysts. This process defines the why and how related to the analyst’s use of data.

Data collection and storage, as important as those processes are, would bear no meaning if the data were left to compile without any forethought as how to utilize the data. Upon collection, data must be examined for any sort of constructive purpose for law enforcement and how law enforcement will address any needs related to the collection and examination of the stored data. This process is referred to as the crime analysis process (Figure 2.2). The crime analysis process follows five steps: (1) data collection, (2) data collation, (3) analysis, (4) dissemination of results, and (5) incorporation of feedback from users of the information (Santos, 2013).

Before we examine the analysis process, however, we first need to review how data are collected and stored before they can be extrapolated for analysis purposes.

Crime analysis process

Figure 2.2 Crime analysis process.

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