I recently came across an interesting New York Times article about crime in New York City. The article mentions that crime in NYC is highest during the summer months, which is a common finding among criminologists and others interested in crime trends. The article includes an interesting use of mapping by including an interactive map where victims, offenders, motive, and weapon can be viewed.
The article mentions that crime in NYC is highest in the summer months, which is a classic issue in Criminology, and one that has been studied by numerous researchers. The increase in crime during the summer months can be attributed to a number of factors. The most obvious reason is associated with routine activities theory, which basically says that during our normal everyday activities we are likely to encounter situations where crimes could be committed. So in the summer when the weather is nice more people are active and are more likely to encounter one another, which means crime is more likely to occur.
The article also mentions that crime in NYC and other cities appears to be associated with the time of day where most murders appear to occur between midnight and 8:00 am. The interactive map attached to the article allows the user to filter the time of day, the year, race of offender, race of victim, sex of perpetrator, age of victim, and the type of weapon used. The use of mapping in monitoring crime is a very effective method for understanding crime patterns. The NYC police department has implemented the COMPSTAT program which is a police management program that reports crime patterns for the use of accountability among police administrators. The COMPSTAT program uses mapping and other analytic techniques to monitor crime, and the map used in this article is a great example of this process.