Aug 9

Types of Crime Analysis and How Excel Contributes to Them

Crime analysis involves the systematic study of crime and disorder issues and the dissemination of information that assists in crime prevention and reduction. It entails not just the examination of criminal activities but also the factors influencing them, such as socio-demographic and geographical elements. With advanced types of crime analysis techniques, law enforcement professionals can devise more effective strategies to mitigate crime rates and enhance public safety.

Crime analysis enhances law enforcement efforts, including proactive policing, crime prevention, and criminal investigations. Through effective analysis, agencies can uncover patterns, trends, and connections that enable them to reduce crime, allocate resources effectively, and respond proactively to emerging threats.

What are the Various Types of Crime Analysis?

The field of crime analysis involves different types of crime analysis techniques that are used according to the type of data, type of analysis, and purpose of analysis in a particular case. There are five main types of crime analysis - intelligence analysis, criminal investigative analysis, tactical crime analysis, strategic crime analysis, and administrative crime analysis.  

Intelligence Analysis

Intelligence analysis refers to the systematic examination of organized criminal activity, regardless of whether it is reported to law enforcement agencies. Its main objective is to support law enforcement officers in linking individuals, events, and assets related to criminal activities. The emphasis is not only on identifying and apprehending criminals but also on effectively preventing future criminal activities.

The intelligence analysis focuses on unifying fragmented information to identify relationships and potential areas for further investigation. The data in this type of crime analysis, mostly qualitative, encompasses a wide range of sources such as surveillance, informants, participant observation, telephone conversations, travel details, financial records, and familial and business relationships.

The primary focus of intelligence analysis has traditionally been on organized criminal activities, including drug trafficking and prostitution. However, post-9/11, intelligence analysis has also focused on potential local-level terrorist activities.

Criminal Investigative Analysis

Commonly known as profiling, criminal investigative analysis focuses on serial offenders, their victims, and crime scenes. It considers physical, socio-demographic, psychological, and geographical characteristics to establish patterns to solve current serial criminal activities.

This method involves constructing a profile of an unknown offender based on the specifics of the crime, the case details, and the characteristics of the victim. Data are collected and analyzed individually for those primarily or peripherally involved with the incidents. The spatial aspects of the incidents and related locations, such as the body disposal sites or the encounter sites, are also considered.

The primary purpose of the criminal investigative analysis is to identify patterns of serial crimes that cross city, state, and even national boundaries - which in turn assist law enforcement in apprehending the offender and clearing cases.

Tactical Crime Analysis

Tactical crime analysis is an approach that studies recent criminal incidents and potential criminal activities by investigating the characteristics of how, when, and where the activity has occurred. It aids in solving problems by identifying patterns and trends, determining investigative leads, suspects, and clearing cases.

This method focuses on crimes recently reported to the police and specific details about each crime, such as the method and point of entry, the suspect's actions, the type of victim, the type of weapon used, and the date, time, location, and type of location. Field information collected by officers, including suspicious activity reports, criminal trespass warnings, and data on persons with scars, marks, or tattoos, is also considered in the analysis.

Tactical crime analysis predominantly employs qualitative analysis to identify patterns and trends, followed by quantitative analysis once a pattern has been established.

Strategic Crime Analysis

Strategic crime analysis integrates crime and law enforcement data with socio-demographic and spatial factors to determine long-term activity patterns. It assists in problem-solving, research, and evaluating responses and procedures.

This type of analysis primarily involves the quantitative analysis of aggregate data, examining variables such as race, class, sex, income, population, location, and location type, alongside law enforcement data.
The two main objectives of strategic crime analysis are to help identify and analyze long-term issues like drug activity or auto theft and to conduct studies to evaluate relevant responses and procedures. These studies include the evaluation of crime prevention programs, an in-depth examination of a specific crime problem, and the implementation of a survey of citizens’ perceptions of police and crime.

Administrative Crime Analysis

In contrast to the other types, administrative crime analysis focuses on the presentation of the findings of crime research and analysis. It emphasizes communicating the results of crime research and analysis in a manner that addresses legal, political, and practical considerations.

The primary goal of administrative crime analysis is to inform various audiences, including police executives, the city council, the media, citizens, and neighborhood groups. The information provided should be simple, clear, and concise. Furthermore, it must be tailored to the audience and not disclose sensitive information.
Here arises the question: How can law enforcement agencies effectively leverage all these crime analysis methods? Law enforcement professionals can join Online Training for Law Enforcement and obtain data skills for better crime analysis.

How Can Excel Contribute to the Different Types of Crime Analysis?

Excel has a rich array of data collection, management, analysis, and visualization features - which allows it to play an instrumental role in enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of different types of crime analysis techniques. 

Intelligence Analysis

Excel can be a fundamental tool in intelligence analysis as it offers features that help with data organization, relationship identification, and pattern recognition. It allows crime analysts to import and handle large amounts of data from various sources, such as surveillance logs, phone records, and financial transactions, which can be categorized and coded for easy interpretation.

Excel's data filtering and sorting capabilities can prioritize the information based on different parameters - making it easier for analysts to recognize patterns or relationships between diverse pieces of information. Furthermore, Excel’s conditional formatting feature can highlight cells with specific values and highlight critical data points that could suggest potential criminal activities or connections.

Criminal Investigative Analysis

Excel can be utilized in criminal investigative analysis as it can assist in profiling unknown offenders. Variables such as physical characteristics, crime details, and victim characteristics can also be entered into Excel.

Analysts can summarize, analyze, explore, and present this data using the pivot table feature, as it enables them to recognize patterns, relationships, and trends. Excel's data visualization capabilities can also be used to generate charts, graphs, and other visual aids to depict behavioral patterns or geographical correlations that can aid in investigations.

Tactical Crime Analysis

Excel's advanced data analysis capabilities can significantly assist tactical crime analysis. For instance, using time series analysis functions in Excel allows analysts to identify patterns or trends over time, such as when crimes are most likely to occur or the days of the week with the highest number of incidents.

Furthermore, Excel’s mapping features can assist in visualizing the spatial distribution of crimes, highlighting potential hotspots and facilitating the identification of geographic patterns. This type of crime analysis could aid in formulating strategies for proactive crime prevention.

Strategic Crime Analysis

In strategic crime analysis, Excel's analytical capabilities, such as data sorting, filtering, conditional formatting, and pivot tables, can be employed to study long-term crime patterns and trends. Socio-demographic data and crime data can be integrated and analyzed to gain insights into crime trends in specific areas or among certain populations.

Excel's advanced statistical functions can also be used to perform regression analyses, correlations, and other statistical tests to understand the relationships between different variables and their impact on crime rates. Such analysis can help in formulating effective crime prevention strategies and policies.

Administrative Crime Analysis

Excel can assist in administrative crime analysis by creating clear, concise, and visually compelling presentations of crime research and analysis findings. With Excel's advanced charting and graphing capabilities, data can be represented visually, making it easier for non-analyst audiences, such as police executives, city council, and citizens, to understand complex findings.

Furthermore, Excel allows the creation of dashboards that provide a brief overview of crime trends and key metrics - which enables efficient communication of important information. Excel’s data protection features ensure that sensitive information remains secure while being effectively communicated to relevant stakeholders.

Get the Best Crime Analysis Certification Online

Therefore, understanding the types of crime analysis is crucial for law enforcement professionals. With tools like Excel, they can optimize their analysis techniques, effectively solving crimes and enhancing public safety.

BlueForce Learning is dedicated to empowering law enforcement agencies with extensive Excel data skills through exceptional Crime Analysis Certification courses. Herein, we explore the application of advanced crime analysis methodologies in Excel. Join our online courses today to positively impact the community and its safety.