Foundation Of The Criminal Justice System Criminology Essay

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Memphis, TN is a city located in Tennessee Shelby County with a population of 669,691.The city has been ranked in position among the most dangerous American cities with crime ranging form murder, rape, automobile and property theft. However criminal activity has been on the decline in the past 5 years with the city having been dropped to position 10 in 2009 from position 4 in the year 2005.

While surveying for the most dangerous cities, special attention was given to violent crimes. Out of the surveys carried out in 345 cities around the US, 10 cities ranked high on all kind of violent crime with Memphis city being ranked tenth in the list. It particularly ranks high on assaults, burglary robbery and motor theft cases. This is shown in the table below (University of Memphis and the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission, 2010)

Mephis Police Department -Part I Crime

Offense Type

2006

2007

% Change 2006-07

2008

%

Change

2006- 08

2009

%

Change

2006-2009

2010

%

Change

2009-10

&

Change

2006-10

Murder

89

78

-12.4

79

-11.2

75

-15.7

53

-30.7

-41.6

Forcible Rape

251

236

-6.0

243

-3.2

226

-10.0

230

1.8

-8.4

Robbery

3073

2807

-8.7

2753

-10.4

2573

-16.3

1852

-28.0

-39.7

Aggravated assault

3664

3366

-8.1

3319

-9.4

3347

-8.7

2916

-12.9

-20.4

Violent Crime

7707

6487

-8.3

6394

-9.7

6221

-12.1

5050

-18.8

-28.6

Burglary

9356

8727

-6.7

8602

-8.1

7845

-16.2

6965

11.2

-25.6

Automobile Theft-

3599

3742

-4.0

3108

-13.6

2328

-35.3

2120

-8.9

-41.2

Larceny theft

79622

18970

-3.3

19503

-0.6

17281

-11.9

14144

-18.2

-27.9

Property crime

32577

31439

-3.5

31231

-4.2

27454

-15.7

23229

-15.4

-28.7

Total

39,654

37926

-4.4

37607

-5.2

33675

-15.1

28279

-16.0

-28.7

The above statistics brings to light more serious but less frequently committed offences, such as murder, rape and aggravated crimes, respectively, which could have been overshadowed by more often but less severe crimes such as Larceny. Aggravated assault for example, refers to unlawful attack for the purpose of causing severe pain which is most of the time accompanied by means likely to result to death while Larceny theft, (excludes motor vehicle theft) is the illegal taking, leading or riding away of property from the possession or useful possession of another individual. Such activates as shop lifting, theft of bicycles and motor vehicle accessories or parts fall under Larceny crimes. The theft does not involve use of violence, force or fraud (University of Memphis and the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission, 2010).

Generally, the statistics indicate show property crimes to be high as opposed to violent crimes and a general tend towards a reduction in crime. Property crime includes burglary, Automobile and Larceny theft, with a total of 32577 reported crimes in 2006 and 23229 in 2010, which is a 28.7 drop over the time period. Violent crimes that include murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault have also reduced over the past five years. The change has been gradual with, for example, 89 murders being reported in 2006, 78 in 2007 and 53 in 2010.

If I were in charge of obtaining manpower with a budget that will permit to hire ten officers which include investigative and administrative personnel, the crime units that would be given priority to add more manpower according to the above data would be aggravated assault and robbery as they are violent crimes hence their effect are dire as opposed to property theft.

Mephis is included among the most unsafe cities in US despite the fact that there have been a lot of efforts and resourced channeled towards reducing crime. Indeed, Operation Blue's 'Crime Reduction Using Statistical History' (Kanaracus, 2010), is a technology entails use of mapping as well as statistical data to target not only crime hot spots but also criminal chronic perpetrator. As such violent criminal department would deed more manpower.

The police department and the department of criminology, at the University of Memphis work together in identifying problem areas. Before C.R.U.S.H , officers could only look at crime statistics in each ward or patrol area. However C.R.U.S.H involves use of technology to locate and narrow down possible crime areas in processes referred to as 'hotspotting'. It is possible for the officers to find out when and where crimes are most likely to be carried out (Kanaracus, 2010)

The carrier option that I see in the case of Mephis that interest is one that has to do with crime analysis. There are different kinds of crime analysis including strategic, tactful and administrative crime analysis. A crime analyst use crime data in forecasting the day, place and time that a crime is expected to occur and go on to prevent it from occurring. A crime analyst also communicates the crime patters to patrol officers and detective in order to produce efficient law enforcement strategies. As such therefore I would be dealing with an important aspect of criminal justice which is crime prevention. For instance, if it is possible to prevent would be murderer or rapist from executing his planned murder and rape respectively.

Crime analysis also facilitates efficient use of resources and would like to be in a position to be part of a process that allows for efficiency and effectiveness. Zeroing in on criminals, for instance those involved in property theft, means that people hand earned money does not end up in the hands of undeserving property thieves. There is nothing that compares to the assurance that one is safe, a fact that criminal analyst facilities in his endeavor to prevent crime.

Tactical crime analysis is important in that, among other things, it is used to concentrate on crimes that pose an immediate danger to the community a good example being rape, murder and burglary. It also detects common patterns of a particular crime by studying and linking similar factors including suspect physical description, method and weapon used. Information from tactical analysis is disseminated to patrol offices as lead to prevent suspect from committing a crime.

On the other hand strategic crime analysis is used to establish whether police manpower ought to be increased or not while administrative analysis is important as the reports are used to determine whether the agency need for example more officers or to demand for more budgetary allocation from the government (Investigation and Careers, n.d )

Research indicates a continuing rise in the demand of professional crime analyst. For example has risen ten times in the last fifteen years for example. The occupation is subject to alteration in State budget as well as Federal grant grants; however it is likely to be in increased to public concern as regards crime and safety. Equally as funding towards law enforcements agencies is increased, so will be opportunities for crime analyst. This is good news for those who have a passion in this area and can demonstrate the capacity to manage immense details and make connections between varying factors. It is also a field that calls for the ability to effectively relate with people as it entails a lot on intercommunication between the sector and detectives, officers, administrators and government officials.

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