The study of crime analysis has significantly developed over decades. Police organizations and other law enforcement agencies have made additional investments in their crime evaluation techniques. Institutions must be accustomed to transformations. Similar to all organizations, police agencies ought to implement new methods of crime data analysis. Crime analysts are associated with information processing, including crime tally, trends, and manpower allocation (Siegel, 2011). Predominantly, they deliver information to police institutions about felonies, disorder, and police operation to aid them to perform their jobs better. This paper outlines issues connected with using crime data and discusses data trends in peer-reviewed articles with the aim of solving and avoiding future crimes. It specifies the development of an appropriate system for data collection for crime analysis.
Issues with Using Different Types of Crime Data
The Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) include only violations known to police officers. A high number of victims do not report atrocities to the police organization that uses the UCR program. The latter underrates the number of perpetrators and offenses committed in any area. As a result of this, victims do not report for differing reasons, namely, some regard a crime to be a private concern. Casualties do not consider it serious enough, or others may fear revenge. Since most victims do not report to police institutions, it creates a large gap between the number of committed offenses and the ones disclosed to the police. A crucial example of this problem is that UCR does not account for drug crimes, insurance scams, and tax evasions as known crimes (Gwinn, 2009). Moreover, UCR data contain the most critical violations only according to the hierarchy rule. It specifies that in case countless offenses have been perpetrated, only the most severe crime is reported (Gwinn, 2009). Hence, if a convict steals and murders a person, only the action of murder is said. A failure to gather all relevant data is another issue. Information contains only crime details, including the offender and situations for murder cases.
Arrest data may be incomplete, and this may hamper collecting evidence. The main reason is that the number of arrests reported by the police is considerably lower than the number of reported crimes. Arrest data hold the characteristics of offenders. Because of this, there is an inherent presumption that they also represent those who perform similar offenses, but are not apprehended. Based on arrest data, violations reported to the police agency are identical to the ones unreported (Gwinn, 2009).
Crime incident data are intrinsically precarious to assess modern crime problems. Active police officers gather reports of crime scenes under stressful circumstances. At that time, they attempt to ascertain complex situations with the stringent categories. Practically, every stage of the data collection process incorporates countless potentialities for errors and fewer opportunities for countermeasures (Gwinn, 2009). For example, calls for service may cause network congestion. In other cases, there may be a network failure, especially in remote areas, and this may affect the investigation process.
Description of the Ways of Setting up a System for Data Collection
I would develop a record management system (RMS) for crime data analysis. It is a relational database management application that stores criminal records. The main purpose of this system is to keep and maintain crime emergencies data and connect them to the relevant information (Adam, 2008). The RMS analysis and design outline an assessment of the system and its entire layout. Design tools, such as Adobe Dreamweaver, can assist in developing user-friendly interfaces. PHP is used to develop the administrator panel and the front-end of the system (Adam, 2008). MySql database is utilized to create relational databases for storing various crime data. The Apache HTTP server is adopted to transfer files over the local network.
Consideration of Hardware and Software Issues
The hardware specification for the RMS involves minimum technical requirements. Laptops computers are used for crime fieldwork and presentations. The processor should be above Pentium IV with 2.80 gigahertz (Adam, 2008). The random access memory should be 768 megabytes, and the minimum hard disk space should be 760 megabytes (Adam, 2008). Desktop PCs should have a hard drive space of four gigabytes to store crime data and reports.
Maintaining a High Level of Data Integrity
Data encryption capability encodes crime data using a cipher. It will prevent any form of unauthorized access to the RMS system. The administrator requires mastering ways of unlocking the code in order to extract crime data from the database (Adam, 2008). The utilization of a data backup procedure is another means that assure data integrity. Crime records are stored in a standalone MySql database that is not connected to the Internet. It prevents a hacker from altering the collected evidence remotely (Adam, 2008). It integrates access controls to determine who modifies data. Lastly, it supports both input and data validation functionalities and prevents police officers from inputting incorrect data.
Current Crime Analysis and Data Trends in Peer-Reviewed Literature
Article 1: The Integration of Crime Analysis into Police Patrol Work
The article assesses regional research data of police administrations in America to determine the state of the incorporation of crime analysis in police patrol work. The findings indicate that various types of crime analysis are utilized by a police officer in controlling crime rates in the region (Santos & Taylor, 2014). The research suggests that police officers and front line supervisors rely on tactical crime analysis strategies in apprehending criminals. Agencies use this approach for patrol operation regularly. However, they rely on strategic crime analysis for facilitating patrol work and collecting valuable info. It means that they collect crime incident and arrest data using the strategic crime evaluation approach. Most predominantly, the research suggests that agencies utilize the tactical crime analysis more often followed by the strategic crime analysis and lastly evaluation. Arrest, crime, and UCR data are stored in their automated system for further investigation purposes.
Article 2: The Effectiveness of Crime analysis for Crime Reduction
The article evaluates the function of crime analysis as an essential component in the overall police crime reduction approaches. It focuses on the role of crime analysts in American police departments. Community policing have been incorporated by various crime analysts in managing and reducing crime rates in America. Using an effective standard model of policing, they gather crime data and store them in their computerized systems (Santos, 2014). Based on the recent crime patterns, analysts predict where the next crime will happen. They apprehend the offender, and using this arrest data, police officers can determine potential hot spots. The article concentrates on police operation analysis that plays a significant role in reducing crime.
Article 3: Methods in a Wireless Communication System for Crime Investigation
The article analyzes the integration of wireless communication tools for crime investigation, precisely in the United States. It recognizes how different police agencies rely on computer-aided tools to control crime. It focusses on wireless communication equipment used by police officers on patrols (Shrestha, Kostanic, & Kashi, 2014). The system within this equipment stores crime incident and arrest data directly to agency’s databases. The application guarantees the confidentiality and authenticity of the saved UCR data. It allows wireless calls for service for communication among police officers. Additionally, it guarantees secure communication between the public and the agency in case of an emergency.
Article 4: Analysis of the Procedures Used to Evaluate Suicide Crime Scene in Brazil
The article evaluates fundamental techniques used by crime analysts to assist in reducing crime scenes in the region of Brazil. It focusses on 80 reports from different areas of Brazil where crime investigators have been involved (Bruni et al., 2014). Analysts assess distinct variables regarding the features of a crime scene to determine authentic crime data. The major variables include detected traces of blood and clothes found at the crime scene. Using this information, they formulate patterns of occurring crime incidences. It enables analysts to predict where a suicide crime may happen. Because of this information, the police apprehend the victim, and arrest data are stored in agency’s records. The system generates UCR data for predicting a suicide crime.
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Strength and Weaknesses of the Chosen Articles
Articles 1 and 2 represent a strategic crime analysis. They evaluate data directed towards an improvement and assessment of long-term strategies and prevention techniques. It helps to evaluate statistical trends and crime detection, as well as recognize possible crime hot spots and problems. As a result, analysts can identify a distinct crime pattern leading to the success of police patrols (Santos & Taylor, 2014). However, the analysis procedure consumes much time and forces one to gather data oneself rather than using police reports. Police departments rely on crime incident data that do not depict the entire crime situation in the community since data are dynamic, not static. The articles utilize both crime and arrest data in assessing crime problems. Articles 1 and 2 adopt an inductive methodology to analyze crime since they start with individual pieces of data that are put together to assess crime (Santos, 2014).
Articles 2 and 3 characterize the tactical crime analysis. The assessment is driven towards the daily recognition and evaluation of emerging or ongoing crime patterns. For instance, Article 4 mentions the evaluation of suicide crime scenes in Brazil (Bruni et al., 2014). It describes the influence of crime scene data on identifying the next suicide crime. Its primary strength is promoting such activities in the police department as effective planning and minimizing crime rates. In addition, it gathers diverse crime statistics to facilitate effective analysis application. Nevertheless, the analysis covers a limited area, that is administration. Articles 3 and 4 apply a deductive methodology to analyze crime. The types of data introduced in these article are arrest, UCR and crime data (Bruni et al., 2014).
Consideration of Where the Trend may Lead in the Next Five Years
The National Crime Analysis Report indicates a significant reduction in the rate of crime. It specifies that there were 23.2 offences per 1000 in 2013 to that of 20.1 per 1000 in 2014 (“Crime in America,” 2014). Based on these data, crime incidences are reducing due to modern technological tools for crime analysis and government participation. If these factors are going to be constant or improve in the coming five years, the number of criminal activities, including drug use, will significantly reduce.
Crime analysis is an essential element of modern pro-active policing, and every police department should have some form of analysis. Law enforcement agencies use arrest, emergency call, crime incident and UCR data in addressing crime problems. They apply new technological systems for data collection and storage purposes. Furthermore, the record management system is becoming a standard application for police records. It integrates extensions for generating UCR reports for crime assessments. Agencies rely on data encryption, backup, access control and data validation techniques to guarantee information confidentiality. Most predominantly, crime analysts should possess police expertise, research skills, and technological capacities. Although an individual is not likely to have the required knowledge at the starting of crime analysis, he or she may be proficient in one of these areas and improve in other sectors over time. With these recommendations, crime investigators and police departments will combat crime, and society will live in peace.