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Risk Terrain Modeling - Residential Burglaries

Presenter(s):  Jeremy Johnson


Much like a contour map, Risk Terrain Modeling (RTM) assigns a level of risk to real-world locations and stretches them over a contiguous geography.  Using a geographic information system (GIS), a rasterized map of an area is created where each cell in the raster is assigned a value based on multiple risk variables.  Risk variables can be distance from a location, proximity to related events, socio-economic factors, temporal/seasonal factors, and/or land use.  With regards to crime analysis, these risk variables can differ, as well as have more or less importance to the investigated crime.  The common risk correlates, criminogenic factors, associated with residential burglary are; frequency of past residential burglaries, measures of social disorganization, proximity to pawn shops, proximity to public transportation, land use type (residential).  The resulting raster will help guide law enforcement personnel to more focused and efficient patrolling.

Key Takeaway: GIS principles and techniques, combined with crime data and socio-economic factors, can be a powerful tool for any law enforcement agency.  Intelligence Led Policing is only as effective as the information supplied for analysis and review, leading to more efficient patrol and, hopefully, reduced crime rates.

Intended Audience: Data Analysts, Crime Analysts, Law Enforcement Professionals

About the presenter(s):

Mr. Johnson has 22 years of experience working in the GIS field, most of which spent in his home state of Minnesota where he served as GIS Coordinator for Anoka County and the City of Blaine for 16 years.  It is at Blaine he built the GIS Department from the ground up and slowly integrated daily GIS usage into virtually every City department, as well as creating open-source web applications for public use.  After moving to Arizona 3 years ago, he was hired by Matrix to provide and grow GIS usage for the southwest region, as well as the other national offices.  Besides enjoying all things GIS, Jeremy enjoys the outdoors, photography, golf, and hockey.