Repeat Incident Data is extremely effective in the analysis of crime, because it can provide insight into criminal patterns and trends, and assist law enforcement agencies in deterring and/or preventing such crime (Bureau of Judicial Statistics, n.d). To the extent that the crimes involve educating the public, say for instance, property crimes or auto theft crimes, education campaigns and public service announcements can be implemented in order to educate the public about the incidence of crime, when such crimes are most likely to occur, how to be vigilant in preventing such crimes, and where to report related suspicious activity.
Having such repeat incident data available, will serve to facilitate a law enforcement agency’s planning for staffing, investigatory services, and otherwise. This can serve to inform the public and the local government of where resource deployment is needed and in what applicable manner and amount. For instance, if there is a repeat trend of auto theft at night, in a specific area, there is little to no need to step up surveillance or other activities in the day time or service-area wide. Instead, the repeat incident data may suggest that additional manpower be assigned during those peak times in those specific areas where the repeat incidents are occurring (Weisel, 2005).
Repeat incident or repeat victimization reports provide data with respect to repeat crimes and their specific or general locations. As discussed herein, this is critical in terms of deterrence, prevention, and public education. Resources can be more effectively allocated when such repeat negative trends are documented and better understood. As a matter of course, repeat incidents are somewhat predictable, and repeat offenses often occur quickly, within a short period of the first offense (Weisel, 2005). Very often the crime risk dissipates after the initial incidents occur and accordingly, it is critical for law enforcement to have the ability to identify locations and trends and to act in a rapid and effective manner to prevent future occurrences.
- Criminal Justice Data Improvement Program (n.d). Bureau of Justice Statistics. Web. Retrieved from: http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=4
- Weisel, D. L. (2005) “Analyzing Repeat Victimization Tool Guide No. 4.” Center for Problem Oriented Policing. Web. Retrieved from: http://www.popcenter.org/tools/repeat_victimization/print/