Rise of the crime analyst

Given the proper support, crime analysts can serve as an indispensable asset within the department and the city

By taking advantage of Big Data, crime analysts identify trends and make recommendations based on their observations. Through analysis and computer mapping, crime analysts play a crucial role in helping law enforcement agencies quantify, evaluate, and respond to the changing landscape of criminal activity in their jurisdictions. 

For example, the Durham (N.C.) police department’s analytical services group used IBM analytics technology to help reduce the amount of violent crime in a two-square-mile region of the city by more than 50 percent during a four-year span (2007-2011).

Based on historical data, analysts created an intelligent database where they could access and visualize data that established relationships among people, places, and other entities. Armed with that information, Durham PD could be smarter in how they allocated their resources.

In another example, the Vancouver Police Department's analytical team used IBM technology to develop and deploy a sophisticated crime and intelligence analysis system branded the Consolidated Records Intelligence Mining Environment (CRIME). 

CRIME created the capacity to view and analyze crime-related data, to uncover trends, and to accurately predict when and where crimes were likely to occur.

Since deploying this new crime analysis technology, from 2007 to 2011 property crime rates have dropped by 24 percent and violent crime rates have decreased by nine percent. 

Given the proper support, crime analysts can serve as an indispensable asset within the department and the city.

They not only see the impact of crime from a historical perspective, they now have the means to better forecast the impact it will likely have on the community.

About the author

Doug Wyllie is Editor in Chief of PoliceOne, responsible for setting the editorial direction of the website and managing the planned editorial features by our roster of expert writers. An award-winning columnist — he is the 2014 Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" winner in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column — Doug has authored more than 900 feature articles and tactical tips on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA). Doug is active in his support for the law enforcement community, contributing his time and talents toward police-related charitable events as well as participating in force-on-force training, search-and-rescue training, and other scenario-based training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.

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