Tips, Tools and Techniques

We've stopped proactively adding to this some time ago but there is plenty of good stuff in here - (If you find any broken inks please let us know!)

Disclaimer: The ACIA does not accept any responsibility for the content of any external sites, nor uphold any views that may be expressed within them.

Analytical Techniques

Aoristic Analysis (opens new webpage)
Jerry Ratcliffe's explanation of the principles of aoristic analysis and the ways in which it can be applied including animated mapping.

Vulnerable Localities Map (opens pdf)
Slide showing how to create a Vulnerable Localities Map. The Vulnerable Localities Index is a measure of community cohesion (or vulnerability). It was developed by the National Centre for Policing Excellence (NCPE) in conjunction with the Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science (JDI), in response to the riots in Bradford, Burnley, Wrexham and Oldham in 2001.

Analytical Tools

Crimestat 3 (opens new webpage)
CrimeStat 3 is a spatial statistics program for the analysis of crime incident locations, developed by Ned Levine & Associates under the direction of Ned Levine, PhD, that was funded by grants from the National Institute of Justice. The program is Windows-based and interfaces with most desktop GIS programs. The purpose is to provide supplemental statistical tools to aid law enforcement agencies and criminal justice researchers in their crime mapping efforts. CrimeStat is being used by many police departments around the country as well as by criminal justice and other researchers.

The tool enables a variety of techniques including, hotspot analysis; journey to crime and regression modeling. A full software manual is available on the same website.

Weighted Displacement Quotient (click to view)
The weighted displacement quotient compares how much crime occurs between the targeted area (A), the buffer area (B) and the control area (C) before and during the operation to see how crime in those areas has changed. If crime has been displaced into the surrounding buffer or if that surrounding buffer has actually experienced some benefits due to its proximity to the operation, the WDQ will be able to detect that change.

Near Repeat Victimisation (click to view article)
This software originates with the relatively recent discovery of the near repeat phenomenon in burglary patterns, a discovery that has highlighted the communicability of crime events that affect the risk level at nearby locations. The near repeat phenomenon states that if a location is the target of a crime (such as burglary), the homes within a relatively short distance have an increased chance of being burgled for a limited number of weeks.

To establish a null hypothesis measure against which to test the shooting patterns, the software employs a Monte Carlo simulation process. By computing multiple simulations of the expected values, it is possible to generate an expected distribution under a null hypothesis.

Crime Dispersion Index
This program will calculate Offense Dispersion Index and associated values for specific crime data in a fixed format. Using dispersion analysis, a technique that measures the relative dispersion of a crime increase across a region allows for the identification of particular spatial units that are sufficiently influential to drive up the overall jurisdictional crime rate.

A combination of the order of areal units from a dispersion analysis with a measure of the local level of spatial association is used to develop a tool that can identify clustered areas of emerging crime problems. The identification of these second-order spatial processes may be beneficial to police departments and crime prevention practitioners who are interested in the identification of statistically significant clusters of emerging crime hotspots.

Buffer Intensity Calculator
The software here provide 5 different inverse distance weighting approaches, so that instead of getting a crime count in the buffer, you can get a crime intensity. In the graphic shown here, the inverse weighting is a quartic one, but the program also allows for linear and exponential approaches.

The eventual score for each criminogenic location (the green dot) is the sum of the weightings for all the crime events within the buffer distance. Further details can be found in a paper at the website.

Aoristic Spreadsheet

For those who don’t have access to Aoristic analysis tools on their GIS packages this download allows you to have a VBA tool that allows you to calculate aoristic analysis on crime committed to and from values.

Mapping & Mind-Mapping Tools

Hotspot Detective
HotSpot Detective is an add-on program for MapInfo. The software inserts itself in the main menu bar of MapInfo and provides the user with a range of useful crime analysis tools. The software allows the user to conduct complex crime analysis from within MapInfo, without the need to run additional external programs .The current version has the Repeat Location Finder, a Timeline graph facility, and a more enhanced and useful options menu for adjusting program functions. It also includes the option of adding a weighting variable to the surface mapping tool as well as mapping surfaces with the built-in mapping tool or generating MapInfo grid files

Toolkits and guides on how to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills - .e.g. Mind maps, future wheels, fish bone charts etc.

Decision Making Models

Greater Manchester Against Crime website, showing decision making and business processes.

Managing Analysts

Enhancing the Problem Solving Capacity of Crime Analysis Units

This guide is organised around nine fundamental concerns, framed here as questions, which must be addressed when developing a problem-solving capacity within a crime analysis unit.


Developing a Strategic Assessment (view pdf in new window)

An effective practice toolkit for Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships and Community Safety Partnerships.

Presenting Analysis

Presentation Magazine

Advice, templates and other resources for presentations, PowerPoint slides and public speaking.

Visual Presentation

A website focusing on providing advice and e-books on the principles of visual display to present data in the most effective and / or arresting manner.