Tables and Graphs for Monitoring Temporal Crime Trends: Translating Theory into Practical Crime Analysis Advice

International Journal of Police Science & Management, Vol. 18, No. 3. (2016), pp. 159-172, DOI:10.1177/1461355716642781

37 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2015 Last revised: 6 Dec 2016

Andrew Wheeler

University of Texas at Dallas - School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences

Date Written: January 18, 2015

Abstract

This article is a practical review on how to construct tables and graphs to monitor temporal crime trends. Such advice is mostly applicable to crime analysts to improve the readability of their products, but is also useful to general consumers of crime statistics in trying to identify crime trends in reported data. First the use of percent change to identify significant changes in crime trends is critiqued, and an alternative metric based on the Poisson distribution is provided. Then visualization principles to constructing tables are provided, and a practical example of remaking a poor table using these guidelines is shown. Finally the utility of using time series charts to easily identify short term and long increases, as well as outliers in seasonal data using examples with actual crime data is illustrated.

Keywords: visualization, tables, crime-trends, CompStat, information-sharing, time series, crime statistics, crime analysis

Suggested Citation

Wheeler, Andrew, Tables and Graphs for Monitoring Temporal Crime Trends: Translating Theory into Practical Crime Analysis Advice (January 18, 2015). International Journal of Police Science & Management, Vol. 18, No. 3. (2016), pp. 159-172, DOI:10.1177/1461355716642781. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2551472 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2551472

Andrew Wheeler (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Dallas - School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences ( email )

P.O. Box 830688, GR 31
Richardson, TX 75083
United States

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