Mapping Crime Before It Happens


A new software application developed at the Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice uses crime and environmental data to identify, predict and map locations that may attract criminal activity.

Many law enforcement agencies already practice Risk Terrain Modeling (RTM) — an approach that utilizes geographic information to assess risk factors on a digitized map — but the Rutgers program automates many of the steps in the process.

The Risk Terrain Modeling Diagnostics Utility (RTMDx), a commercial product offered free of charge to law enforcement agencies, applies spatial risk analysis to crime data to predict where new clusters of crime are likely to emerge in any given area.

“The final model articulates the vulnerability for crime with relative risk values at every place throughout the study area,” according to the Rutgers website.

Using that data, police can determine where to best allocate resources and identify potential new hot spots before crime breaks out.

Access the RTMDx website HERE.

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