Crime Mapping and the Policing of Democratic Societies


In democratic societies, police are ultimately accountable to the citizens, usually through interaction with public-interest groups or through the media. Yet, police also must answer directly to an internal command structure and to governing officials. These multiple sources of accountability sometimes create differing expectations. Computerized crime mapping, when thoughtfully implemented, can help police balance these interests. It is a versatile tool that can simultaneously enhance police accountability to the public, foster organizational efficiency and promote public safety. Covering a range of technical and policy issues, this paper discusses the benefits and challenges associated with crime mapping in democratic societies.