Introduction to Crime Analysis: Basic Resources for Criminal Justice Practice. By Deborah Osborne and Susan Wernicke; published by Haworth Press, 800/429-6784 (phone), www.haworthpress.com (Web); 156 pages; $17.95.
The field of crime analysis is growing, as many of its principles and practices overlap with the burgeoning area of homeland security. Taking the intricacies of crime analysis and transforming them into an easily understood format, the authors of this book provide a foundation for anyone interested in working in or learning about crime analysis. Readers learn a lot more than the basics, including how to use crime-mapping software and how to rise to the top of the field.
Written by two police crime analysts, the book is replete with resources to assist in gathering evidence for analyzing crime. Moreover, the authors explain the "Ten Commandments" of crime analysis as a way to inculcate best practices in the reader. The first commandment, for example, is "Thy Task is Crime Analysis. Thou Shalt Have No Other Tasks Before It," and the sixth commandment is "Thou Shalt Know Thy Jurisdiction from One End Unto the Other."
As with any new endeavor, beginners must also learn the logistics of the field. With that in mind, the authors provide useful information on how to set up a crime analysis unit and how to outline a mission statement for the unit. The authors also offer sections on staffing, education, funding, and marketing. Another section is devoted to success stories from analysts. Given its abundance of resources and forthright instruction, this book is highly recommended.
Reviewer: Detective Sgt. Brian L. Royster, a graduate of the FBI National Academy, is a detective with the New Jersey State Police. He is a member of ASIS International.