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This research has been developed from various sources such as newspapers, police foundation departments, intelligence services and judicial departments. The research shows how different departments can be used in order to share intelligence information in an integrated manner. It also encourages ways in which different departments can encourage information sharing between crime units and crime analysts to manage the criminal intelligence (Taylor 56). It has created an opportunity for computerized crime analysis to be applied. The police have embraced digital technology as one of the most efficient and effective methods of crime analysis.
The police department and the law policymakers have the responsibilities for crime prevention and reduction. Therefore, quality information is necessary to come up with a good decision. The question of which are the best ways to receive this information depends on how organized and trained the department is. Information passes through the analyst, so it can be filtered, synthesized, combined and placed in the required context in order to provide the required results. A lively and intelligent product can provide a decision maker with a concise picture of how the crime environment looks like. Most of the modern policing systems are in need of an environmental analyst as a starting point of the crime reduction strategies.
The art and science of crime analysis can provide a decision maker with a snapshot of criminality. It can also provide a clear understanding of crime trends and patterns. Without this police, chiefs and inspectors may not have access to vital and synthesized information necessary for criminology strategic planning. Crimes analysts help to identify a section of a city where the level of crime and other related activities has increased. This knowledge makes the relevant intelligence agency department to act accordingly in order to avoid the deterioration of the possible situation (Princeton 76). It is, therefore, in order to clearly understand the concept of intelligence analysis and crime analysis.
The public has had a misconceived understanding about this issue due to a misinformed fiction and a wrong media presentation. This has made the public understand that intelligence agency is a secretive group that deals with subversive activities, which are morally ambiguous. However, there is a notable difference between information gathering and the use of intelligence to influence decisions of law enforcers. Even in other related disciplines, different people can understand the same term in different ways. In this context, the term has different meanings to different departments who define it according to their application and the problem which is handled. It is due to the fact that when different cities and states encounter problems, they use different approaches to solve them. To come to a common understanding, a general definition has been designed. Criminal intelligence involves creating an intelligence product that will support decision making, leading to law enforcement, crime reduction and prevention. Therefore, an intelligent knowledge-based product has the capacity to influence the way of decision maker`s thinking. This product can, therefore, emanate from a presentation, a written bulletin, an oral report or from a combination of all these elements.
Different scholars have tried to analyze the concept of crime analysis for a long period of time; though they differ in specifics, they share some common components. According to most of these definitions the crime analysis supports the police agency while utilizing systematic methods of information intelligence. This is the best definition.
It is the systematic crime study (e.g., robbery, rape and burglary), chaotic problems (e.g., burglar alarms, noise complaints and other suspicious activities) and other problems related to police that assist them in detention of criminal, disorder reduction and evaluation and prevention of the crime. These police related issues include social demographic, spatial and temporal factors. Although this discipline is called crime analysis, it can include much more than just the study of crime incidents, because it can also study police related problems, like staffing requirements for various types of police service.
The study of crime entails enquiry, investigation and close examination of the scrutinized information. It is not, therefore, a haphazard or anecdotal procedure, but it rather involves an application of social sciences and data collection procedures, statistical techniques and analytical methods.
Crime analysis employs both quantitative and qualitative data and methods. Qualitative methods and data are used to examine non-numerical data in order to identify the underlying pattern of relationship and its meaning. Qualitative methods, used by crime analysts, are field research and content analysis. Statistical analyses of numerical or categorical data are among the ways in which we apply quantitative data and methods.
Just like criminal intelligence, crime analysis also has its tactical, operational and strategic components. The tactical feature focuses on immediate issues and is the most valuable to the police department. The operational component identifies the priority areas, and the likeliest of problems; the strategic component deals with long-term problems that require the input of a police department, an agency or a planning department (Sampson 43). The crime analysis department is not directly involved in crime reduction activities, but it supports grant applications, feasibility studies and community relations. A detailed component of crime analysis is criminal investigative analysis, an activity that deals with geographical profiling.
The broad range of activities involved in the crime analysis activity can be categorized as;
i). Problem analysis
It deals with analysis that the police conduct within the police department using formal research methods and criminal justice theories; it involves an application of comprehensive collection of data and analysis procedures. This enables the analyst to have an in-depth understanding of the problem at hand and of the ways in which this problem is advised to be solved by the relevant authority. It has a close relationship with a problem-related policing framework, which does not only concentrate on a remedy of a crime problem, but also on a comprehensive framework to improve the police response in all aspects of their work (Taylor 20).
Crime analysis must show an understanding of more theoretical and technical areas. In this case, a qualified analyst should have quantitative research skills, like to be able to use various software packages and geographical information system. Spatial temporal crimes analysis and creation of analysis products can be tremendously helpful in briefing the officers on environmental criminology.
ii). Integrated analysis model
Crime analysts always share more than enough goals with criminal intelligence. For this reason, both disciplines try to influence the police decisions according to their understanding of the crime environment. They both seek to employ information in its raw form to which the analyst should add value, employing analytical techniques. One of the mechanisms that we can use is an integration of these two departments in the dissemination through CompStat meetings. These are internet enabled conferences where one can air crucial details regarding a common issue. This increases communication between the departments and make use of some of their shared resources and human efforts.
Therefore, a holistic approach to crime analysis will identify the target offenders as well as time and place for a significant problem. Instead of criminal analysis and criminal intelligence working independently and supporting the police in a haphazard way, the offender-related intelligence can use recorded crimes to estimate the impact of the offender’s activities.
The two disciplines, crime analysis and intelligence analysis, are hugely influential in law enforcement operations. Lack of cooperative integration between the two units in different areas of operation hinders their ability to provide integrative support (Kolenc 30).
iii). Aoristic crime analysis
The crime analysts tend to focus on crime hotspots and to identify areas of high density of criminal activities. This method provides a different approach in identifying those hotspots, and it has intentions to provide a contextual framework to temporal analysis of crime data. It monitors the patterns in which crimes changes over time, and it is more applicable to arbitrary areas like in the administrative unit. It examines lower crime areas as clearly as possible, because they appear to be much overlooked by other analysts. Most crime data have a tendency of lacking temporal definitions, and there is the application of three temporal search techniques for the purpose of comparison.
Temporal analysis of crimes takes place at the regional and national levels, and thanks to annual publications, different communities can compare the rise and fall of crime rates at different times. This analysis is of high importance for a number of reasons. They provide values for detecting the change in levels with time and for diverting the focus from the areas of high concentration to those of lower concentration.
Therefore, it is vital that the data analysis methods include an element of time to reflect the changing nature of the current world. Most of the researches tackle various methods to record the changes and problems of how much historical information to retain. Aoristic crime analysis presents an individual problem to ensure temporal skewness of the problem (Washington 26). The aoristic and rigid search methods offer various interpretations of data and their results. The use of various statistical tools, like correlation and distribution tests, enables interpretation.