Strategic analysis also referred to in the text as criminal analysis is the application of the intelligence cycle for the purpose of data collection, collation, analyzing and dissemination. The main purpose of the strategic analysis is the apprehension of criminals and the prevention of future crime. Tactical analysis is focused more on the capturing of criminals and deals with the “short-term deployment of resources” in order to accomplish the mission at hand. (Baker 2005).
Although both strategic analysis and tactical analysis serve a different purpose and the end result is different both are performed and applied in a very similar fashion. Both strategic and tactical analysis benefit from the use of crime mapping.
Crime mapping produced with modern technology is one of the most effective tools in combating crime and solving open cases. Crime mapping is my experience is traditionally used to establish “hot spots” which is a representation of a geographical area in which crimes or a certain crime such as burglary is prevalent over an established period of time. The information of where crime has been committed frequently over a said period of time can be used to locate possible targets of similar crime in that area. The information on hot spots along with information on any suspects developed on the case can be used to establish possible travel patterns for the suspect or suspects.
In addition to being used to develop hot spots and possible suspect travel patterns for a crime, crime mapping can be used by commanders when making decisions in support of tactical operations. In addition to the previously stated benefits of crime mapping it can be used to establish a timeframe in which the crime being investigated in most likely going to be committed. With all that pertinent information on hand the tactical commander can decide where and when to set up surveillance on possible target location(s) or individual(s) in an attempt to catch the offender in the act of committing the crime. The tactical commander can also use that information to task additional patrols in the areas where the crime may be committed during the suspected timeframe as a deterrent if there is not enough resources to set up surveillance.
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is defined as a multi-disciplinary approach to deterring criminal behavior through environmental design. CPTED strategies rely upon the ability to influence offender decisions that precede criminal acts by affecting the built, social and administrative environment (CPTED Association). CPTED can be used as an effective means to reduce a criminal’s Modus Operandi (MO). A good example of a crime in which CPTED can be used to reduce a criminal’s MO is in residential burglaries. Although residential burglaries may not be the easiest crime to CPTED because it comes usually at a financial cost to the homeowner it can be very effective. If there is a series of burglaries that involve forced entry through windows in an area then the installation of bars of all windows and sliding glass doors would force the offender to force at least in part his MO.
Intl. CPTED Association home page. (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2016, from http://www.cpted.net/
Zahm, D. (August, 2007). Using crime prevention through environmental design in problem-solving. Retrieved from http://www.popcenter.org/tools/pdfs/cpted.pdf
Baker, T. (2005). Introductory criminal analysis: Crime prevention and intervention strategies. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall.