Mapping Crime: Understanding Hot Spots
John Eck, Spencer Chainey, James Cameron, Michael Leitner, Ronald E. Wilson
About This Report
Much of crime mapping is devoted to detecting high-crime density areas known as hot spots. Hot spot analysis helps police
identify high-crime areas, types of crime being committed and the best way to respond. This publication presents various hot
spot mapping and analysis techniques, software options and capabilities and a theoretical discussion that frames various types
of hot spots within policing strategies and response.
In this report, chapters progress in sophistication. Chapter 1 is for novices to crime mapping. Chapter 2 is more advanced,
and chapter 3 is for highly experienced analysts. The report can be used as a companion to another crime mapping report published
by the National Institute of Justice in 1999, Mapping Crime: Principles & Practice, by Keith Harries.
What did the researchers find?
- Identifying hot spots requires multiple techniques; no single method is sufficient to analyze all types of crime.
- Current mapping technologies have significantly improved the ability of crime analysts and researchers to understand crime
patterns and victimization.
- Crime hot spot maps can most effectively guide police action when production of the maps is guided by crime theories (place,
victim, street, or neighborhood).
Date Created: January 28, 2008