Crime analysis is a law enforcement function that involves systematic analysis for identifying and analyzing patterns and trends in crime. Information on patterns can help law enforcement agencies deploy resources in a more effective manner, and assist detectives in identifying and apprehending suspects. The Crime analyst also plays a role in devising solutions to crime problems, and formulating crime prevention strategies. Quantitative social science data analysis methods are part of the crime analysis process; though qualitative methods such as examining police report narratives also play a role.
Crime analysis can occur at various levels, including tactical, operational, and strategic. Crime analysts study crime reports, arrests reports, and police calls for service to identify emerging patterns, series, and trends
as quickly as possible. They analyze these phenomena for all relevant factors,sometimes predict or forecast future occurrences, and issue bulletins, reports, and alerts to their agencies. They then work with different divisions within the Sheriff 's Office to develop effective strategies and tactics to address crime and disorder. Other duties of the crime analyst include:
- preparing statistics, data queries, or maps on demand;
- analyzing beat and shift configurations;
- preparing information for community or court presentations;
- answering questions from the public and the press;
- and providing data and information support for Sheriff 's Office CompStat (short for COMPuter STATistics) process.
The Uniform Crime Report (UCR) is also prepared by the Analyst. The UCR is a detailed report that contains statistics on what types of crimes are occurring within the Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction. Arrest, clearance and recovery of property data on those incidents are also tracked. The report is then sent to the FBI where it is compared to other law enforcement agencies statistics throughout the country.