DOJ site shows you the scenes of the crimes

The Justice Department's Crime Mapping Research Center has launched a new World Wide Web page to provide access to the latest information on crime mapping, which uses computer systems to show trends in crime incidents by regions.

Point your browser to www.ojp.usdoj.gov/cmrc to learn more about high-tech law enforcement. A good place to start is the "CMRC Mission" link, which provides an overview of the center's work and an introduction to crime mapping. Then click on "Resources" to dive into CMRC's Briefing Book for several real-world examples of the technology. The briefing book— on a page titled "Exploring Crime Mapping"— can guide you through maps used by law enforcement officers. For example, the "Mapping Crime Locations" link leads to a page that shows the locations of the 756 murders that occurred in Washington, D.C., during 1994 and 1995. The map clearly shows how murders are clustered in specific areas of the district.

Other chapters in the briefing book detail how law enforcement agents use mapping software to designate crime hot spots in a region and to show the density of crimes compared to population in cities and states. For example, many crime analysts consider the locations where stolen vehicles are recovered to be more relevant than the locations from where the cars are stolen. The briefing book's map of Maryland's Baltimore County on the link "A Closer Look at a Hot Spot" shows that automobile recovery locations are near so-called "chop shops," which buy stolen cars from thieves.

Techie folks may want to head to the section on crime mapping-related software, which also is on the "Resources" page. There also are links to multiple software products for law enforcement use. Those more interested in consumer-related data should head to the "Related Web Sites" section of the "Resources" page to learn about crime maps available for various cities, including Chicago, Dallas and Sacramento, Calif.

For a different view of crime, try the Social Statistics Briefing Room at www.whitehouse.gov/fsbr/ssbr.html. The SSBR has a variety of statistics, including data about property crime, drug abuse and violent crimes from the latest editions of the National Crime Victimization Survey and Uniform Crime Reports.

If your appetite for crime-fighting technology still is not satisfied, point your browser to www.nlectc.org to take a peek into the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center, which is operated by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), which is the Justice Department's research division. Here you'll find the Justice Technology Information Network, which bills itself as an online gateway to law enforcement and corrections technology.

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