Why do you map crime?

Mapping crime can help law enforcement agencies protect the community more effectively in the areas they serve. Simple maps that display the locations where crimes or concentrations of crimes have occurred can be used to help direct patrols to places they are most needed. Policymakers in police departments might use more complex maps to observe trends in criminal activity, and maps may prove invaluable in solving criminal cases. For example, detectives may use maps to better understand the patterns of serial criminals and to hypothesize where these offenders might live.

Using maps that help people visualize the geographic aspects of crime, however, is not limited to law enforcement personnel. Mapping can provide specific information on crime and criminal behavior to elected officials, the media, and the community.

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1. How are crimes reported?
2. Why do you map crime?