Published: September 2013
Author(s): Gary Higgs

There are a number of texts and edited collections given over to the use of spatial techniques in analysing, modelling and mapping crime data. Such efforts are reinforced by several well-established national (and international) conference series that focus on the use of GIS in analysing crime data as well as themed sessions in major geography conference events and dedicated workshops concerned with applying GIS-based methodologies. Commercially and freely available software packages are increasingly being customised for use in law enforcement agencies and the operational and strategic benefits of using such tools are also receiving increased media attention as a result of their use in high profile cases where geo-spatial technologies have been to the fore in helping to convict offenders. The focus of this volume, the eighth in theGeotechnologies and the Environmentseries edited by Gatrell and Jensen, is on describing examples of the use of spatial and temporal techniques that typically are not available in proprietary packages but which have nevertheless been applied using the types of event data now routinely being collected by law enforcement agencies. Many of these studies are exploratory in nature and some report on early results from what are clearly longer term initiatives but the majority involve some degree of collaboration with law enforcement agencies (even if this is only in the form of initial data provision), are based on sound theoretical reasoning and provide useful lessons for others concerned with analysing mainly disaggregate (point level) crime data.