Technology and Crime Analysis
With the passing time, criminals have globally become sophisticated and intelligent giving a hard time to the law enforcement agencies. The criminals have increasingly used variable new criminal technologies to commit their crimes. In the effort to cope with the increase in criminals’ efficiencies, law enforcement agencies are looking for current ways to detect and prevent crimes (Tilley, 2013). In the present world, technology plays an important role in every aspect of life, with reference to, criminals busting as it is daily used by the law enforcement agencies as they are increasingly becoming dependent on it. Different users could adopt several technological applications. For example, the crime analysis technology has evolved from a simple fingerprint reader to complex crime software’s with the capacity of analyzing crime patterns. These have brought an overhaul to contribution of crime reduction rates with current crime busting technologies.
The type of technology necessary for accurate crime analysis
- a) Geomapping crime patterns: Geographic information systems (GIS) are automated systems for the capture and storage, retrieval and analysis of spatial data. By visually representing diverse data sources located geographically, such as the crime locations, property values and racial ethnic positions, it is possible to manipulate geographic information in an exciting manner (Wortley & Mazerolle, 2013). For example, the NYPD used the pin maps to represent crime patterns for decades. Furthermore, the criminologists have examined spatial trends on crimes as well as the social ecology of crimes. GIS has revolutionized the way in which the problem oriented policing are conducted. GIS enables the police to overlay diverse data contributing to the true understanding of a specific problem. For instance, a series of burglaries can be displayed on the crime map, corresponding to the problem-solving Furthermore, GIS plays a critical role in jumpstarting the crime analysis process, allowing the police to formulate a hypothesis on the occurrence of the problem.
- b) Computer hardware: The computer hardware used for crime analysis is equivalent to the other computers used in other disciplines. The majority of the crime analysts use desktops and personal laptop computers in fieldwork and presentations. In most instances, different police departments have their own servers to present different kinds of data such as geographic data and others shared by users. The tabular and geographic data are obtained from three major kinds of data collection and storage systems. These are the computer –aided dispatch systems (CAD), record management systems (RMS) and the geographic data systems (Casey, 2011). Furthermore, crime analysts use four major types of software applications to manipulate and conduct analysis: the spreadsheet software, statistical software, data management software and the geographic information software.
- c) Genetic fingerprinting forensics: since 1985, the use of DNA fingerprinting is widely recognized for its application in genetic identification, DNA profiling and analysis. This has created the ability to link a specimen to the originator. For example, in 1988, the DNA fingerprint was admitted as evidence in court in the case of Florida Versus Tommy Lee Andrews. The FBI began accepting case or from the forensic lab; since then, DNA fingerprinting has been useful in hundreds of cases in the United States. DNA analysis is widely acceptable in many medical applications; therefore, the courts decided that DNA fingerprinting satisfies the Frye rule. The DNA analysis procedure is constantly refined, and it is with no doubt that, it will be a powerful tool in future criminal investigations.
- d) Technology and surveillance in an urban city: surveillance: Surveillance technology has been used for many decades, since World War I, as both sides of the war were using it to gather information on the location and the tasks needed (Manning, 2001). The technology has advanced swiftly, such that currently the satellite can take objects and pictures of the size of as a car from the space. The advancement of technology has made it possible to install a cost effective system at many different locations such as shopping malls, banks, parking lots and street to help curb criminal activities. The installation of cameras at crime prevalent sites eliminates the need for high-speed chase. For example, the installation of traffic control cameras eliminates the need for high-speed chase on robbers as that can follow the criminal roots using a video camera. London is an example that has successfully installed CCTV on the public streets as a way of embracing the technology to control crimes.
Benefits of crime analysis to the community
Effective law enforcement seeks to bring to justice the criminals and prevent crimes from occurring. Crime analysis helps with efficient deployment resources, assisting detectives in identifying and apprehending suspects. It also helps in finding solutions to crime problems, as well as the development of strategies to prevent crime within the community (Perry, 2013). In addition, with the growth of the Internet and cable television, the public could use more ways to report the criminal activities. In addition, crime analysis helps the police departments for various educational purposes as they have gone to the extent of using the crime analysis information to teach drug and prevention intervention program at the local schools. Law enforcement expands the methods useful in relating the different types of data. The tools also give the opportunity for visualization of the data sets giving law enforcement with the abilities to respond to different problems. The use of GIS to relate the data to the existing boundaries provides the law enforcement agencies to customize information to meet the public needs and elected officials to meet their own demands. Providing customized information creates time, saving devices that free law enforcement personnel, increasing the patrol resources within the community.
Casey, E. (2011). Digital evidence and computer crime: Forensics science, computers, and the internet. Access Online via Elsevier.
Manning, P. K. (2001). Technology’s ways: Information technology (IT), crime analysis and the rationalization of policing. Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 1(1), 83-103.
Perry, W. L. (2013). Predictive Police: The function of Crime Forecasting in Law Enforcement Operations. Rand Corporation.
Tilley, N. (Ed.). (2013). Handbook of Crime Prevention Communities Safety. Willan.
Wortley, R., & Mazerolle, L. (Eds.). (2013). Environmental criminology and crime analysis. Willan.