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Simplified Crime Analysis Techniques

NCJ Number
S R Stiles
Date Published
80 pages
This manual uses concise explanations and examples from current systems to provide a basic understanding of crime analysis processes and their implementation and to present guidelines for establishing an inexpensive, noncomputerized crime analysis system in a police department.
Crime analysis is defined as a set of systematic analytical processes providing timely and useful information on crime patterns and trends. Effective crime analysis affects all areas and operations of a police department by refining and distributing useful information. Crime analysis has been used to improve the operations and administration of police departments, to improve the job satisfaction of police officers, to permit the patrol deployment system to correspond with service demand, and to augment patrol activities in crime prevention. Crime analysis depends mainly on the offense report for raw data. The information flow must be timely, comprehensive, accurate, and pertinent in order to be effective. The main costs of noncomputerized crime analysis are materials and supplies, personnel, and travel. The crime analysis process requires both operational commitment and administrative support to work properly. Steps in developing a crime analysis system include establishing a task force to develop the system, determining target crimes, establishing information needs and methods of obtaining the information, establishing a timetable for implementation activities, and identifying staffing and resource needs. The five basic steps in the crime analysis process include the collection, categorization, analysis, dissemination, and evaluation of information. The reports and forms for use in each step of information-gathering and analysis are explained and illustrated. Types of products resulting from this process are described, including the alert bulletin, the investigative leads bulletin, the information report, the daily crime summary, and the field interview bulletin. The roles of the crime analyst and decisionmakers are also explained. Forms, a bibliography listing 19 sources, 11 reference notes, and a list of police and sheriff's departments which conduct crime analysis are provided.