‘Interpretation for action?’: definitions and potential of crime analysis for policing

Authored by: Nina Cope

Handbook of Policing

Print publication date:  August  2008
Online publication date:  August  2012

Print ISBN: 9781843925002
eBook ISBN: 9780203118238
Adobe ISBN: 9781136308529


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Increasingly the discipline of analysing information has found itself central to supporting the delivery of policing services. Key drivers include a focus on reducing harm and managing risk, alongside responding to demand. An increased emphasis, as part of a more community focused approach, on access to information about policing problems and police force performance, statutory changes that further reinforce partnership working and the development of shared outcomes and targets, such as Local Area Agreements, contribute to the demand that information be accessible, processed, where necessary shared, and understood. Alongside the structural and policy changes that affect how police forces are constituted, measured and the agencies they need to collaborate with, comes an increasingly complex criminal landscape and an advancing technology infrastructure that impacts on what information can be gathered, stored and cross referenced. It is in this mix of availability of data, inter-agency co-operation, risk mitigation and the very real need to make connections in order to understand both the environment of crime and policing interventions, that crime analysis has found its niche. However, it is inevitable that being driven by such a broad array of demands places significant expectation and pressure on the process of analysis and the analyst who undertakes the task.

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