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PSP Guide to Social Network Analysis

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2018
2 pages
As part of its technical assistance to cities that are participating in the National Public Safety Partnership (PSP), this guide provides instruction in the features and uses of social network analysis (SNA).
SNA is a tool often used by law enforcement agencies to visualize relationships as social structures to be shared as intelligence that informs crime prevention and intervention efforts. SNA is the analysis of social relationships and should not be confused with social media or social networking. SNA systematically collects and analyzes large amounts of data on social interactions and connections between individuals and groups. It is often used to identify important individuals in criminal networks who are key players in instigating violence in a community. Data collected from field interviews, arrest reports, traffic stops, street intelligence, gang intelligence reports, National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBINO hits), group audits, and information from interviews and informants can inform SNA by connecting relationships and social interactions between two or more people. PSP combines analytics and field intelligence through the SNA Initiative. This report provides online access to information on using SNA to reduce violent crimes; SNA as a systematic investigating technique; using SNA to reduce homicides; and a guide to peer exchanges on SNA.