U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs

Crime Mapping Helps Local Law Enforcement Protect the Public

Regina B. Schofield, March 2007

The Office of Justice Programs supports countless state and local programs that aim to curb and, ultimately, eradicate crime from our neighborhoods. We are committed to providing our state and local criminal justice partners with the knowledge, tools, and abilities they need to successfully do their jobs.

And "crime mapping" is one of these tools. Analysts use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to "map" or layer crime-pertinent information on computer generated maps to identify crime hot spots and to discern other patterns and trends. This analysis also helps law enforcement agencies identify high-crime areas and the types of crimes being committed, and enables them to target their resources effectively.

On March 28-31, our National Institute of Justice and its Mapping and Analysis for Public Safety (MAPS) program will host the Ninth Crime Mapping Research Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The focus of the meeting will be the development of crime mapping methodologies and techniques for practitioners and researchers through a series of panel presentations and workshops.

In addition, there will be several pre-conference workshops held on March 26-27 for public safety agencies who are also registered to attend the event. More information about crime prevention through crime mapping is available at MAPS Publications.

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