An investigative plan is important in ensuring that the investigation is focused, stays on track and effectively utilizes the available resources (Bruce, Hick, & Cooper, 2004). The following investigative plan will look at how to deal with multiple daytime robberies in City X by identifying and describing the investigative steps to take, the technological assistance needed and how to analyze the pattern of robbery activity. Data synthesis, operational supplies and funding for the investigation will also be addressed.
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Investigative steps help in pattern analysis and the implementation of the strategic steps to arrest the crime trend. These steps are highlighted below.
- Review police reports – The police reports to be reviewed should not only cover the period the crimes were committed but also a substantial period prior to the spate of crimes. This will help identify any similar crimes that may have being committed as practice runs in the area and in adjacent jurisdictions (Bruce, Hick, & Cooper, 2004).
- Re-interview witnesses – Some insights may have being missed during initial interviewing. When reviewing the reports, identify these insights and which witnesses are likely to fill them in. Re-interview the identified witnesses (IACA, 2015).
- Review forensic evidence from police reports. – To be done for all robbery incidences, at the least it helps identify a pattern to the crimes.
- Review camera footage from the crime scenes – Reviewing camera footage may assist in developing subjects or identifying behavioral patterns. Details such as license plates or victim profile could also be gathered from the footage (Siegel, 2015).
- Review the tactical analysis – Determine if the police agencies in the city’s various jurisdictions have established trends and or similarities in the crimes.
- Synthesize the data for easier review – This involves organizing the data by various details e.g. time of day, modus operandi, location or type of victim (Siegel, 2015). The data synthesis should be complete and accurate.
- Map the offenses – Where are the crimes being mostly committed? What are the factors contributing to the crime spate in those areas and is there a pattern?
- Determine borrowing of human resources from other agencies – Collaboration with other agencies may give different perspectives and will also ease the funding burden. The team involved in the investigation should have good knowledge of the city and prevailing cultures as well as the subjects (IACA, 2015).
- Determine any increases or decreases in the robberies – This involves liaising with all the agencies in the city to determine any changes in the rate of the robberies in their areas of jurisdiction.
- Look at any zoning, population or business changes driving the crime spate – This could help in patterning the crime and could even help predict the next target area, business or person.
Computers have eased investigations by providing much-needed assistance in law enforcement. This include by having computer-based databases that can compare fingerprints and arrest records for quick matching or subject location. Incident reports are also recorded in such databases as NIMBRS and Uniform Crime Report Data. Geographical Information Software aids in complex mapping (IACA, 2012). Static and mobile CCTV can also be used.
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Moreover many electronics now have tracking. This will not only lead to recovery of property that has been robbed, it also leads to subjects.
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Analyzing the Robbery Activity Pattern
The SARA model of analytics that involves scanning, analyzing, response and assessment is common in law enforcement. Scanning involves problem identification, analyzing is the critical look of the raw data, response involves creation of the strategic plans while assessment determines effectiveness of the plan (Siegel, 2015). Collection of the raw data that involves the police and tactical reports by first responding officers and the subsequent investigators is critical in analyzing the robbery pattern. This should address all the robberies in the city during the crime spate.
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Data Synthesis and Conclusion
Synthesizing the data helps zero in on information relevant to the crime. It involves elimination of irrelevant data such as unrelated crimes and interviewing witnesses listed in the robbery reports. It also involves reexamination of the forensic evidence and review of camera footage. The rate of change is also determined by dividing the number of robberies per year by the population for per person comparison (Siegel, 2015). The percentage of robbery change for the preceding five years is also measured. The synthesized data is managed by use of a spreadsheet or database so that it is sortable by modus operandi, time of day, location and jurisdiction.
For the investigative plan to be implemented effectively, various investigative units need to be involved. These will include the city’s crime analysis units and the city’s various investigative units. The forensics team will also be involved since information gathered at the crime scenes is crucial. Regular beat cops and additional patrol units are also needed. The additional patrol units can be two per jurisdiction (Bruce, Hick & Cooper, 2004).
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All these units need to be equipped accordingly so as to contribute effectively in solving the robbery crimes.
As mentioned earlier, technology such as computer databases for subject profiling and GIS for crime mapping are important. Apart from data analysis and synthesis, computer databases such as Goldmine are also useful in record keeping and management. Microsoft Access is a popular and ubiquitous database used by many crime analysis units in various police departments (IACA, 2015).
Additional patrol officers and patrol cars will be required to maintain a high police presence in the city not only to be on the lookout for subjects and incidences but also as a deterrent. This is also useful in crime analysis and is used in many police organizations by their crime analysis units.
Training is definitely a requisite in order to effectively use the technology and also to perform effective patrols.
More personnel and supplies for the investigation means more funding is required. This can be acquired through requisition for grants or extra funding from the Department of Justice and or the relevant agencies. This includes utilization of such programs as the Justice Association Grant Program at the National Institute of Justice that enables purchase of equipment and supply of new personnel. The National Institute of Justice also deploys surplus federal supplies to state and local agencies, and a program such as Improving Responses to Criminal Justice Issues Program can be utilized to get more funding for the city (Office of Justice Program, nd).
Other programs that can aid funding for the multiple robberies investigation in the city include Community Policing Development for more supplies and the Cop Hiring Program for more personnel, both of which are located at the Office of Community Policing.
Crime analysis units take the lead in robbery investigations through record keeping, data analysis and synthesis as well as supplies requisition. For the multiple robberies in City X, it is recommended that additional personnel and supplies are deployed and or redeployed to curb the spate of violent crime especially among the affected neighborhoods. The National Institute of Justice and the Office of Community Policing hence need to be consulted by the city’s policing agency for achievement of the investigative plan.
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