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Predicting a Criminal's Journey to Crime

NCJ Number
National Institute of Justice Journal Issue: 253 Dated: January 2006 Pages: 10-13
Date Published
January 2006
4 pages
Publication Series
This article overviews and critiques computer models for solving crimes.
While no single police technique will produce successful results every time, computer programs for solving crimes enhance traditional police work by identifying factors for consideration during an investigation. Police departments across the country are adding computer programs to their crime fighting arsenals. One of the oldest programs available uses a computer package to analyze crime patterns geographically, which can pinpoint the area where an offender most likely lives. Another computer program, CrimeStat, was developed under a grant from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and is a spatial statistics program designed to analyze crime incident locations through the use of geographical information about crimes. CrimeStat offers a journey-to-crime module that makes statistical guesses concerning where the offender likely lives and is based on the theory that most crimes are committed close to home. In terms of the effectiveness of crime solving computer programs, it is generally agreed that the programs can help guide traditional police work, but are not a substitute for old-fashioned police investigation techniques. Note

Date Published: January 1, 2006