Models of Policing and Effective Crime Analysis


Purdue University Global

One of the main goals of law enforcement is to prevent crime from happening. The purpose of this paper is to inform the reader about the different models of policing, how they work, and how effective crime analysis can help the police with crime prevention. I will briefly explain what each model of policing is, how it is meant to work, and how crime analysis can help with each model.

Standard Model of Policing

This model of policing is, as its name states, the standard model and is the type of policing that civilians think of when it comes to crime prevention. This model includes strategies such as; A higher number of police officers in order to stop crime and to make arrests, random patrol routes, quick response to 911 calls, detectives interviewing victims and witnesses, and reactive arrest .

This method of policing relies heavily upon the investigative work of police in order to solve crimes that have already occurred. There is very little need for crime analysis within this method of policing: In general, the analysis benefits law enforcement agencies with the development of patrol routes and the number of police that would be needed to try to effectively prevent crime occurring .

Community Policing

This method of policing is, at its most basic, when law enforcement agencies form a rapport and relationship with the community in which it serves. This method encourages a partnership between police and their communities, in which such strategies as the neighborhood watch system becomes a part of a proactive response to prevent crimes .

The strategies that have been employed with the community policing method include; The aforementioned neighborhood watch, community meeting with which citizens can relay information to law enforcement, foot patrols that allow for police to interact with the residents of their community and to be seen as a deterrent to crime, and the providing of information to their community through news releases, the internet and crime maps .

As with the standard policing method, there is very little use for crime analysis when law enforcement agencies employ the community policing method. The role of the crime analyst within this method of policing is basically that of a community informant: That is to say, that the analyst will analyze the data and information about that community, and release information to the public that is deemed ‘safe for public consumption’, that is, a highly edited version of the data available to law enforcement .

Problem-Oriented Policing

This method of policing is utilized when law enforcement agencies and police take a proactive role in the understanding of crime data. This happens when those in the agency take steps to analyze the given data, understand it, and responding to it. This method is considered more progressive, and is used in progressive agencies, as it encourages the officers to become involved in proactively creating strategies in which to prevent crime .

This method employs the use of a framework called SARA, which is an acronym for Scanning, Analysis, Response and Assessment . I will go into detail for which each of these steps mean and how they are implemented within the following paragraphs.

Scanning is when agencies ‘scan’ over different sources of data in order to identify and prioritize potential problems within a community. This step is basically information gathering, confirmation of problems, the scope of the problems, determining consequences of the problems, and understanding how often the crimes occur .

Analysis is when the agency, once problems have been confirmed, dig deeper into the data in order to figure out how deep the problem lies and why these problems are occurring. The understanding of this information is essential to form an effective response to the problem .

Response is the step by which law enforcement agencies decide upon which strategies and responses would be the most effective in answer to the problems occurring. An outline will be created by the agencies, detailing the responses chosen, the goals of the responses, and the responsibilities for the agency .

Finally, the last step in this process is that of Assessment. This is when the agencies evaluate how the response was implemented, it’s effectiveness, and the impact. This is the step by which agencies can analyze data about the responses that have been implemented, and whether or not they are a feasible response long term .

As can be seen from the SARA framework, crime analysis is an essential part of this method of policing. This method relies heavily on gathering, collating, and understanding the data that is available, interpreting it into responses that can help to deter crime, and to analyze the effects of the implementation of the responses.

Hot Spot Policing

This method of policing is, as its name implies, when police are assigned to crime ridden areas, or ‘hot spots’, in order to deter further crime within that geographical location. This method employs the use of more traditional strategies of policing, i.e. the assignment of vehicle patrol routes, as well as foot patrols, to the areas in which are considered problem areas .

This is a method that relies heavily upon the analyzation and interpretation of data in order to understand where the problem areas are. The crime analyst, once they have interpreted the data, can then help the agencies to create patrol routes and other responses that can be considered appropriate to the situation .

Focused Deterrence

This method of policing is centered towards areas that have a high prevalence of violent crime, i.e. homicides, rape and assaults. The responses within this method are based on deterrence theory, which basically states that the responses employed to such crime must be certain, rapid and severe in order to deter further similar crimes .

According to this method, each offender is considered singular, and the responses to that offender are tailored specifically for that person, which can include: Family interventions, community interventions, bringing forth individuals in positions of authority such as prosecutors and probation officers, and others that may be influential on the offender. The hope for this type of response is that those who are involved can help to persuade the offender that crime is no way to live .

It can be inferred, then, that the role of crime analyst is essential with this method, as without their insights and understanding, a proper response might not be created in order to address the problem(s). The analyst will analyze and interpret the data, formulate responses to the geographical area(s), as well as implementing appropriate responses that are tailored to the needs of the offender.

Disorder Policing

This method of policing is utilized within areas that are considered disorderly and run down. Also called broken windows policing, this method makes connections between the environment of the geographical area, i.e. physical conditions of the neighborhood, and social disorders, i.e. prostitution and/or drug trafficking. The suggested responses to crime in this type of environment is by employing community-based techniques, i.e. focusing on changing the physical disorder that can promote criminal behaviors .

The role of the crime analyst is important with this method of policing with respect to analyzing and interpreting data which can focus the law enforcement agencies into the troubled areas. The analyst can help to the types of crime, why they are occurring and help determine proper strategies for law enforcement to employ with regards to the neighborhood.


This method of policing is a system of performance management which heavily emphasizes the voluntary sharing of information, responsibility, accountability and the improvement of effectiveness within law enforcement. There are four key components that makes up this system, which is; A) Timely and Accurate Intelligence, B) Swift Deployment of Resources, C) Effective Tactics and D) Relentless Follow-Up. This method of policing emphasizes strategic problem solving in order to combat crime .

The role of the crime analyst is a central figure, which performs the general tasks of an analyst, i.e. analyzing and interpreting data, as well as crime mapping, directing resources and holding managers accountable. The analyst is the key component to problem solving, both for fighting crime and for emphasizing accountability for law enforcement agencies .

Intelligence-Led Policing

This method of policing emphasizes the collection, analyzation and interpretation of the data in order to attempt to identify repeat offenders and potential victims. Another key component of this method is that allows for a partnership between the law enforcement agency and the community in order to provide opportunities to an offender to change their behavior before it can escalate to worse behaviors and the possibility of a serious arrest and sentence .

The role of the crime analyst is central to this method of policing. The analyst is responsible for gathering and interpreting data, producing responses to deal with the problems, and making decisions. The analyst will create ways in which to approach offenders effectively and is a key figure in the implementation of solving problems .

Predictive Policing

This method of policing includes the use of technology in order to analyze large groups of data within a geographical area. The data that is utilized for this method includes prior crimes information, as well as environmental data, to predict future crime risks and to create responses to prevent crime. This method identifies hot spots of crime, which can then allow for law enforcement to focus on the problem areas in order to attempt to prevent crime occurring .

The role of the crime analyst is central within this method of policing. The analyst analyzes and interprets data in order to find problem areas which needs an increased focus of police attention. The analyst will also help to create tactics for police to use in the fight to prevent crime .

Methods of Policing and Crime Analysis Effectiveness

As I have discussed in the above methods, the role of the crime analyst is a central figure in all of the methods except for the standard policing and the community policing methods. Crime analysis is not a central part of these methods, and instead rely heavily on police tactics and techniques, as well as emphasizing community relationships .

Disorder policing can benefit from effective crime analysis as the data can be analyzed, interpreted, proper and effective tactics can be implemented, and police agencies can be focused into areas which need a greater police presence. The same can also be said when it comes to problem-oriented policing, hot spots policing, and intelligence-led policing, as they each rely heavily on the analysis and interpretation of data, as well as the analyst creating and implementing effective responses to prevent crime .

Compstat and Predictive policing can both highly benefit from effective crime analysis as they both rely so heavily on the analysis and interpretation of the data. As with the other methods of policing which emphasize focusing police attention on hot spots, predictive policing can benefit greatly from effective crime analysis as the interpretation of the data and creation of effective responses can help to focus police in high risk areas. Compstat can benefit greatly from effective crime analysis as, not only does the analyst analyze and interpret data and formulate effective responses, the analyst is also a central figure in emphasizing accountability .

Focused deterrence can benefit greatly from effective crime analysis. As focused deterrence is focusing on preventing crime and handling responses swiftly and severely. The analyst gathers, analyzes and interprets the data, as well as formulating effective responses. Thus saying, without effective crime analysis, the tactics and responses developed may not be appropriate or effective, leading to more problems .

All of the methods discussed employ at least a small amount of crime analysis, even if it is only a minute factor. As previously stated, if the analysis of collated data is not effective, this would only lead to more problems and less effective responses to problem areas and/or offenders. As the role of the crime analyst is a central figure to the majority of policing methods, it is imperative that the analysis of data, as well as creation and implementation of responses and tactics, be relevant and effective in order to prevent crime and/or handle offenders correctly.