Last Updated 04 Jan 2023

As Broken Windows Theory And Routine Activity Theory

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The two topics I learned the most about in module six were the purposes for mapping and analysis in the field of law enforcement as well as the strategies to reduce crime and disorder in communities. The systematic process of mapping and analysis by law enforcement agencies is a strategy of researching maps of high-crime areas and databases in order to gather information and recognize patterns. The blueprint of communities plays a big part in crime opportunities. Mapping and analysis used to be done physically, with maps and pins on boards. Now it is done with computers and virtual mapping programs, such as LexisNexis, Maptitude, and geographic information systems (GIS).

The types of information it gathers is location, distance, direction, and patterns. Location and patterns are the most important pieces of information, as they can help determine hotspots. Hotspots are areas in which crime is most likely to happen because it has happened there before. Crime happens more often in places that have been victims of crime before, so knowing where has been hit is helpful in preventing future crimes. In rural areas, hotspots may not exist, so in these cases, other information provided by the program has to be used. It also shows where places like alleyways and abandoned buildings are in relation to other places like schools and daycares. These data bases also show different information such as the time of the crime, day of week the crime took place, crime comparisons, and specific crime types.

This includes accidents, citations, arrests, sex offenses, etc. This can also help departments connect certain crimes. Law enforcement agencies are able to share information they have received. No one person or agency may be able to see the full picture, but if they come together, the connections will be discovered. Not only does mapping and analysis help u figure out where crime is happening, and where it may happen in the future, but it also can help in emergency situations. For example, if a terrorist attack was to occur, the map would show evacuation routes, shelters, populations affected, etc. Overall, mapping an analysis programs and procedures are important in order to determine crime, future crime, and also help in emergencies.

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Hot Spot Policing is a very effective strategy used by law enforcement and has been proven to decrease criminal activity in areas that it is being used in. Hot spots are small areas where crime occurs and they are not big landscapes, instead, they are spots where police frequently have to visit. According to the article, “Do not inevitably lead to the implementation of criminal issues”. Most people would think that hot spot policing, where police focus more on the areas where crime is frequently occurring, the criminals would simply move to different areas, but that is not the case. It is actually the opposite, it reduces crime in surrounding areas also. Mapping is done where crimes are entered into a system that places the crimes on a grid, showing where crime is frequently being committed. Systems such as GIS (Geographic information systems) are used by analysts, where it is used to pinpoint the troubled area, identify the nature of activity occurring within that area, then strategies are developed to battle the crime occurring.

There are some theories that explain why crime occurs in these hot spots, such as broken windows theory and routine activity theory. Hot spot policing is a proficient technique for police to combat crime. Crime is mapped, using systems such as CrimeStat, where points that represent crime are mapped onto a grid. Afterwards, police departments can determine what policing techniques can be put forth to battle the crime that is occurring within these hot spots. Also, hot spots are not an entire landscape, instead clusters. Another benefit about hot spot policing is that it also decreases crime in surrounding areas and as a result, the displacement of criminal activity does not occur due to hot spot policing. Police departments may use a variety of strategies once hot spots are developed to combat crime, such as an increase of police patrolling that specific hotspot.

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