Tactical Crime Analysis

Outline

1 Introduction

a Recap what tactical crime analysis is

b What does tactical crime analysis entail?

i Identify emerging crime patterns as soon as possible

ii Carefully analyze any crime patterns

iii Notify the police department or agency about the identified pattern

iv Work with the police department or agency to develop the best tactics to address the pattern

v Process of investigation: Pattern crime investigation

2 Identify emerging crime patterns

a Daily review of crime reports

b Comparison of crime reports with those in the past—last week, month, year, or three to five years

c Crime mapping

d Statistical comparisons

e Qualitative research

3 Carefully analyze any emerging patterns

a Identify commonalities of criminal events by searching databases

b Identify the who, what, when, where, and how factors that are common

c Use an inductive model

4 Notify the police department or agency about the existence of a pattern

a Predict future criminal events

b Work with detectives to address the pattern

c Use spatial and temporal analysis

5 Work with the police department or agency to develop the best tactics to address the pattern

a Tools for analyst communication

b Providing actionable information

c Getting analysts out of the office

d Array of tactics and strategies

e Encouraging initiative throughout the police department

f The ideal is a formal response process

6 Process of investigation: Pattern crime investigation

a Pattern of investigation

b Using analytical results for product development

c Crime summary

Learning Objectives for Chapter 11

  • 1 Gain an understanding of crime patterns
  • 2 Be able to differentiate between seven types of crime pattern
  • 3 Identify the crime analyst’s role in crime patterns
  • 4 Be aware of different ways of addressing crime patterns

Tactical crime analysis involves pattern detection,linkage analysis for suspect—crime correlations, target profiling, and offender movement patterns. The main difference between strategic and tactical crime analysis is the timeliness of the data. Strategic crime analysis usually involves data covering at least a yearlong period, whereas tactical crime analysis uses data collected during several days.

(Goldsmith, McGuire, Mollenkopf, and Ross, 2000, p. 5)

Introduction

As you learned in Chapter 10, tactical crime analysis involves analyzing data to develop information on the who, what, how, when, and where of crime; in other words, it’s about identifying crime patterns and helping a police department or investigators within a police department to gain a better understanding of a crime pattern or problem and develop the most effective response.

According to Philip Canter (2000), crime analysis has two broad fonctions: strategic and tactical. Strategic crime analysis will be discussed in Chapter 13, but tactical crime analysis will be the focus of this and the next chapter. Canter (2000) goes on to say that tactical crime analysis involves pattern detection, linkage analysis for suspect—crime correlations, target profiling, and offender movement patterns. In other words, tactical crime analysis involves:

  • • Identifying emerging crime patterns as soon as possible
  • • Analyzing carefully any identified crime patterns
  • • Notifying the police department or agency about the identified pattern
  • • Work with the police department or agency to develop the best tactics to address the pattern
  • • Process of investigation: Pattern crime investigation

Identifying Emerging Crime Patterns

Pattern detection occurs when offenses are reported during a relatively short period of time and the crime analyst is able to identify common attributes among those offenses.The most likely common attributes would include the type of crime (e.g., all were armed robberies), modus operandi (MO) (all of the crimes involved a man who initially feigned an illness in a convenience store), and type of weapon used (each armed robbery of a convenience store involved a ,22-caliber handgun).

Additionally, a crime pattern can occur over a large geographic region, say a whole county, or it may be confined to a relatively small area, perhaps a neighborhood encompassing four blocks. When a crime pattern occurs in a relatively small area, it is referred to as a “hot spot” or a cluster.

The tactical analysis of crime patterns is a primary responsibility of crime analysts at police agencies around the United States and, indeed, around the world. Every day, analysts search databases and mine data in an effort to link cases by the key factors we just mentioned above, and then disseminate information about known and newly discovered patterns to fellow police personnel. This analysis improves the safety of communities by facilitating the police response, which can, in turn, prevent and reduce crime. While the pattern identification process is reasonably standardized, there is a diversity of perspective on what constitutes a crime pattern (Gwinn, 2011). Unfortunately, the profession lacks a common language, and the terms crime pattern, crime series, hot spot, crime trend, and crime problem are often used interchangeably (Gwinn, 2011).

 
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