Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Mapping Patterns in Crime.

Map, Attacks, Terror, Belgium, Brussels  Mathematicians love the beauty of patterns.  There are patterns in traffic flow, in nature, in crime and math is used to map those patterns showing where the crimes have been committed.

Crime analysis looks at the patterns of crimes being committed in which areas to determine the best response.
According to an article published by UCLA,  criminals are hunter gathers who hunt for criminal activities.  They follow certain patterns. 

Using mathematical modeling, the police are able to find hot spots, determine the type of hot spot, and determine the best reaction to the activity. There are two types of hot spots, the first is characterized by a small rise in activity that grows while the second is a large spike in a central location.  By knowing which type of hot spot, the police can respond appropriately so they do not cause the hot spot to move to another area without suppressing it.

In addition, they can determine if the it is a hot spot of violent crimes, burglary, or auto.  Mathematical modeling that provides this detailed information.  Apparently when a hot spot occurs for a specific crime, the chances of it occurring increase because the criminals appear to be comfortable working that area.

There are others who are investigating this type of analysis.  In the Boston area, three people including a person at MIT created a program to look at trends in crimes and discovered trends that had previously been unidentified using traditional methods.  In addition, they found several crimes that met the criteria but had not been classified prior to this.

Crime mapping provides information for three type of analysis. The first, tactical analysis, looks at the short term such as  a crime spree because they want to stop what is going on. It looks at one criminal with many targets or one target with many criminals.  It is used when an immediate response is needed.

The second, strategic crime analysis, looks at both long term and on going events.  It often focuses on areas with high crime rates and tries to find ways to decrease the crime rates. The final, administrative crime analysis, looks at the police and their deployment to determine if they are being used effectively.

The data used for these crime analysis usually come from 911 call records.  The crime is entered into the data base, if the perpetrator is arrested, if he is convicted, or put in jail, all of this is put into the data base.  The information is analyzed using mathematical modeling so one of the three type of analysis can be applied to the data.

Let me know what you think.  Have a good day and enjoy yourselves.