Spatiotemporal crime analysis in U.S. law enforcement agencies: Current practices and unmet needs

Robert E. Roth, Kevin S. Ross, Benjamin G. Finch, Wei Luo, Alan M. MacEachren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article compares the current states of science and practice regarding spatiotemporal (space. +. time) crime analysis within intermediate- to large-size law enforcement agencies in the Northeastern United States. The contributions of the presented research are two-fold. First, a comprehensive literature review was completed spanning the domains of Criminology/Crime Analysis and GIScience/Cartography to establish the current state of science on spatiotemporal crime analysis. This background review then was complemented with a set of interviews with personnel from seven intermediate- to large-size law enforcement agencies in the United States in order to establish the current state of practice of spatiotemporal crime analysis. The comparison of science and practice revealed a variety of insights into the current practice of spatiotemporal crime analysis as well as identified four broad, currently unmet needs: (1) improve access to externally maintained government datasets and allow for flexible and dynamic combination of these datasets; (2) place an emphasis on user interface design in order to improve the usability of crime mapping and analysis tools, (3) integrate geographic and temporal representations and analyses methods to better unlock insight into spatiotemporal criminal activity, and (4) improve support for strategic crime analysis and, ultimately, public safety policymaking and administration. The results of the interview study ultimately were used to inform the design and development of a spatiotemporal crime mapping application called GeoVISTA CrimeViz.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-240
Number of pages15
JournalGovernment Information Quarterly
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Law

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