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NCJ Number: 201482 Find in a Library
Title: Whendunnit: Unraveling the Hidden Patterns in the Timing of Serial Crime
Journal: Law Enforcement Technology  Volume:30  Issue:7  Dated:July 2003  Pages:144-147
Author(s): Dan Helms
Date Published: July 2003
Page Count: 4
Type: Best Practice/State-of-the-Art Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the use of time analysis to stop serial criminals and outlines a new software package designed to calculate temporal patterns.
Abstract: In the world of criminal activity, a small group of repeat offenders is responsible for the majority of crimes. As such, tools that assist police officers in predicting and thus stopping serial crimes are in high demand. Unfortunately, despite a burgeoning of computer software that allows police officers to predict different variables about criminal activities, such as new geographic profiling software, there has been a relative shortage of tools designed to calculate the temporal patterns underlying serial crime in order to make timing forecasts. Another obstacle to accurately forecasting the timing of criminal events is that so much crime is unwitnessed that it often takes professional mathematicians to determine the time frame of criminal activities. The article introduces the reader to TimeScan, a software package designed to make advanced temporal analysis practical for crime analysts. TimeScan, designed by crime analysts, is able to read and analyze several types of data formats, making it compatible for use with other programs. This is helpful because it allows crime analysts to place space and time together in a criminal profile, rather than dealing with these two variables as if they are totally separate. The article concludes by noting the increasing sophistication of both crime analysis techniques and the software used to calculate criminal profiles.
Main Term(s): Crime analysis; Time series
Index Term(s): Automated crime analysis; Computer software
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