All You Need To Know To Become A Successful Criminal Analyst

During a crime investigation process, detectives and investigators use various tools to look out for and arrest criminals. They also take help of criminal analysts. Criminal analysts (also known as crime analysts) help investigators and detectives identify and apprehend suspects and solve crimes. They are the people who work behind the scene to assist law enforcement officers working out in the field.

Criminal analysts study criminal patterns and suspects in order to predict and identify where a crime might occur and how that crime could be prevented from occurring. They do this by working heavily with various computer databases, software and geographic information systems. They gather information not only to identify criminals but also to target possible suspects as well.

Position Description:

There are three main types of crime analyst positions:

i. Administrative criminal analyst

An administrative crime analyst performs administrative tasks which include educating the police officers about crime patterns, supplying the law enforcement officers with the findings, and making sure that officers have the required resources to perform their duties.

ii. Strategic criminal analyst

Strategic crime analysts use the gathered data to properly deploy and utilize police officers. In other words, they help determine where police officers are required.

iii. Tactical criminal analyst

Tactical crime analysts are concerned with both violent and non-violent crimes such as theft, robbery, murder, rape and abduction.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Criminal analysts compile data to solve criminal activities. There are many other duties and responsibilities of a criminal analyst that include:

  • Using computer programs combined with statistical data to record possible criminal activity and to create graphs and spreadsheets to show to the police officers.
  • Studying the crime patterns of a city or a community in order to determine the root cause of a particular crime.
  • Working with the community or city in order to make the place safer and reduce the chances of future crimes.
  • Gathering evidence from a crime scene
  • Creating crime prevention strategies
  • Analyzing data related to criminal activity to make predictions about future crimes.
  • Using receipts, insurance information and other accounts in order to create a database of criminal activity. In order for these databases to be effective, they need to be maintained and updated.
  • Utilizing specialized software applications to collect victim profiles and prepare action plans.
  • Sharing findings with police officers, investigators, detectives, and other crime analyst professionals.

Skills Required:

  • Familiarity with crime analysis methodologies, statistical methods including regression analysis, probability models and trend projections.
  • Highly-proficient in technical writing.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication, problem-solving and computer skills.
  • Ability to think logically and strategically.
  • Ability to devise conclusions based on proven data and facts

Education Requirements:

To work as a criminal analyst, candidates should have earned at least a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, criminology, psychology, sociology, statistics, public administration or research methodology. In order to complete more formal training for the position, some agencies also require candidates to have some work experience of a law enforcement environment. Candidates need to learn how to use crime analysis and investigation software applications, geographic information systems and statistical applications. They need to be well-versed in observing and assessing sensitive information.

Some Useful Sources:

  • The International Association of Crime Analysts – the most well-known professional association for the crime analyst field.
  • Exploring Crime Analysis: Second Edition – an excellent book you can find on the IACA website. This book includes everything you need to learn to get the IACA certification.
  • Alpha Group – a great source for training by Steve Gottlieb. This website has a Crime Analysis Applications course which students can take by ordering Steve’s book named CRIME ANALYSIS: From First Report to Final Arrest.

About the author: Charlie Jonathan is a zealous writer and researcher, who works at Assignment Villa, an online service that specialises in furnishing assistance to learners. To get in touch with Charlie, you can contact him on Facebook.

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