CrimeStat IV – Continuing to Improve Spatial Statistics Programming for the Analysis of Crime

crimestat logoCrimeStat has now rolled out the 4th edition of their free analytic crime-mapping tool that has been used by law enforcement agencies and investigative researchers for over a decade. The new software, developed by Ned Levine & Associates with grants from the National Institute of Justice, includes features commonly needed by those studying crime incident locations, such as hot spot analysis, journey to crime analysis, and the technology to create images and spatial distributions that can be produced by plugging known variables into the software.

The New York City Police Department has been able to utilize CrimeStat IV’s hot spot analysis feature to engage in proactive policing techniques, such as stop-question-frisk (SQF), designed to prevent crime from occurring in the first place. The information derived from easy-to-read spatial statistics generated by the software can give those interested in understanding root patterns of crime and future indicators of crime an increased advantage in preventing and/or mitigating community crime.

The improved version of the software touts the favorite features of past editions but is also much more statistical in nature, with 100 routines in the new program. Researchers and analysts can now conduct regression modeling to examine environmental correlates of crime in zones or use the discrete choice modeling tool to analyze why certain robbers use guns while other use knives in their robberies.

Domestic and international law enforcement agencies alike have found use for CrimeStat software in their operations, and the software has been taught as a part of criminal justice and law enforcement curriculums in universities worldwide. At the last Crime Mapping Research Conference in 2011, representatives for the Korean National Police Department made a presentation showing how CrimeStat was used to help catch a serial rapist and later, with increased acclamation to the software, other serial offenders.

The predictive capabilities that researchers and analysts can derive from the software are unprecedented in nature. With big data being used by many industries to solve global problems, there could not be a better time to integrate the data derived from CrimeStat to produce useful analysis for law enforcement decision making.

To learn more about CrimeStat, visit the National Institute of Justice CrimeStat page.

Senya Merchant
Special Contributor
The COPS Office

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