Image Processing Reference
In-Depth Information
and the way in which these observations are translated effectively to information
are the foundation upon which proactive community oriented policing can be developed
and implemented. To this end, computerized information systems (e.g., robotics,
remote sensors, supercomputers, digital images, satellite communications and GIS)
become important means for both data collection and information generation (Fatah
and Higgins 1999 ; Olligschlaeger 1997 ).
Digital technology (digital images) for crime applications has been developed
to provide highly accurate records for crime scenes. This includes the position
and morphology of evidence discovered at the crime scene, post blast and fire
scenes, enhanced field testing applications, and narrowing down the area of inves-
tigation. These protocols unquestionably lower the overall cost of crime scene
processing while providing high quality information. Remote sensors, whether
portable, airborne or space-borne, could be used in the detection of narcotics,
explosives and other trace evidence and are very promising in protecting crime
scene personnel.
Similarly, GIS permits information layering to produce detailed descriptions and
visual representations of events, and analyses of relationships among variables. As
such, GIS provides powerful technological tools to obtain spatial information for
urban police departments and other law enforcement agencies (Harries 1999 ). High
speed, high capacity computer systems and the relatively inexpensive access to
high-resolution satellite imagery are all factors that are encouraging the speed and
routine of incorporating GIS applications in the analysis of crime. The focus is on
methodological issues in spatial statistical analyses of crime data rather than a
comprehensive treatment of the existing theoretical and empirical research.
Crime Mapping
Sorting out the relationship between place and crime requires analytical methods
that can isolate the impacts of both. There are two dominant theoretical perspec-
tives on the distribution of crime, both of which consider time and space. The first
theory is the Rational Choice Theory which was developed by economists and
introduced into criminology in the 1970s (Cornish and
Clarke 1986 ). This theory explains how desired goals
are obtained for the lowest cost. Therefore, it empha-
sizes specific crime events as well as the offender's
behavior or decisions. The second theory is the Routine
Activities Theory (Cohen and Felson 1979 ). This theory
is an intuitive theory that focuses on situations of crimes.
It takes a macro-level view of crime, i.e. it emphasizes
on space and time besides the victim's decisions and
behavior. This theory was later refined by Felson ( 1986,
1994 ) and extended to Crime Pattern Theory in Brantingham and Brantingham ( 1993 ).
A broad and detailed discussion of these two theories is beyond the scope of this
there are two
dominant theoretical
perspectives on the
distribution of
crime: the routine
activities theory, and
the rational choice
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