Analysis

A further level of assistance to police decision-makers can be given by carrying out some form of analysis on the crime material, typically looking for patterns of co-occurrences or discriminating non-occurrence. An example of the former would be the recognition that certain acts of vandalism occur shortly after the end of the school day near to schools. Knowledge from descriptive analyses of the age and backgrounds of offenders prosecuted for vandalism and the geographical hot-spot information could be combined to target possible culprits and introduce other forms of crime reduction.

A more advanced analysis of the co-occurrence of criminal behaviours could also be used for classifying offenders and generating different investigative strategies for the different forms of offender. A number of researchers have developed models of the different behaviour patterns within a given type of crime. Merry and Harsent (2000), for example, were able to differentiate between Intruder, Pilferer, Raider and Invader styles of burglary, while Canter and Fritzon (1998) identified four stylistic variations of arson relating to Shye's (1985) action systems framework.

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