Crime Mapping as a Tool for Security and Crime Prevention

  • Kate Bowers
  • Shane D. Johnson


There is no doubt that crime mapping is now a mainstream practice in police organizations and the security industry more generally (Wartell and McEwen, 2001). For example, a Home Office survey (Weir and Bangs, 2007) conducted in 2005, with responses from 35 of the 43 UK police forces and many of the UK Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs), revealed that 90% of the 171 respondents used Geographic Information Systems (GIS), with three-quarters using them at least weekly. In terms of training, most respondents assessed themselves as competent or proficient users. Commonly used methods included point mapping of individual incidents of crime (86%) and the thematic mapping of data to boundaries such as local authority wards or police beats (80%). Only 50% of respondents used hotspot mapping and where used kernel density estimation (a smoothed risk surface over which crime risk is interpolated from a point pattern) and grid thematic mapping were employed. Of practical concern, when asked how the mapping they undertook informed operational decisions, only 29% felt that it was always or frequently used, with 25% stating that their analyses were very infrequently or never used.


Geographic Information System Street Segment Crime Prevention Research Security Crime Reduction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kate Bowers and Shane D. Johnson 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kate Bowers
  • Shane D. Johnson

There are no affiliations available

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