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Combining police perceptions with police records of serious crime areas

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There is much interest in using police offence and offender databases to map the geography of crime and disorder. This interest comes from academics as well as some police forces. However, there has been a tendency to focus on descriptive mapping (including looking for clusters) and to treat the evidence of crime maps as in some sense definitive. This presentation takes a different perspective on such databases using as its example the location of high intensity crime areas (HIA) in the city of Sheffield, England. Using police recorded offence and offender data and the Sheffield police’s own perception of their high crime areas the results of modelling the distribution of HIA from these two perspectives is reported as a means of “getting behind” the data to better understand the distributions. The presentation also takes the position that both sources of data have a contribution to make towards understanding the geography of HIA and will look at different ways of combining these two sets of data and the issues that are raised.

This talk is part of the Statistics series.

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