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When compiling a crime audit, it is important to list all of the incidents that have taken place within or adjacent to, the area to be protected, in particular making note of the date and approximate time, as well as the nature and severity of the problem.
Depending on the nature of the site, Crime Audits are normally compiled for set periods, for example the previous six or twelve months, which can help to assist in identifying specific patterns and trends.
In addition, the audit should also reflect whether any action resulted in identification of suspects, arrests or convictions (this can usefully help when comparing the effectiveness of CCTV, after it has been installed).
For example, with a small retail shop taken over a 12 month period, this may produce the folliwing Crime Audit:-
• A total of 18 recorded incidents (global), comprising ....
• 11 incidents of shoplifting on the shop floor (macro),
• 3 credit card frauds at the till (micro),
• 1 attempted break in on the rear access door (micro),
• 2 incidents of graffiti on the front external shutters (micro), and ...
• 1 cash snatch from the till (micro).
( if I were the shopkeeper, I might be tempted to relocate or retire!! ).
With the previous audit information displayed on a suitable chart (Crime Audit form 1), the locations detailed in this global assessment can then be transferred onto a basic site plan, where it then becomes much easier to identify trends, hotspots and specific points of concern.
If you consider for example, crime levels in an average Town or Shopping Centre (Mall), the sheer volume of offences actually makes it easier to identify key points which would benefit most from CCTV coverage. That said, in the later stage of developing a 'System Profile', it well be considered advantageous to optimise cameras for facial recognition at 'Gateway' points, rather than trying to achieve that objective at specific crime hotspots identified in the Crime Audit.
It’s important when developing a Crime Audit that a conscious effort be made to consult as wide a range of people as possible; simply because a significant percentage of crimes are never reported to the authorities; so there could be an underlying pattern of criminality which has yet to be clearly identified.
For larger premises or locations such as Town Centres, Shopping Centres (Malls), Airports, Train Stations etc., it is worth building up the macro audit in layers, so that by plotting the data on clear acetate sheets (or you could use a drawing program on a computer !), these can then easily be overlaid on the map or site drawing, (each sheet colour coded according to the severity of the crime). Using this technique, clear patterns will often become apparent very quickly.
If criminal activity is 'scaled' from category 1 (Terrorism), through 2. Murder and Rape, 3. Assault against the person, 4. Theft, 5. Damage to property or arson, 6. Threatening Behaviour, etc. then onwards through vehicle (auto) crime, fraud, deception, graffitti, anti social behaviour etc. it then becomes easier to quantify the severity and location of criminal activity on the site.
The Crime Audit
Carrying out a more 'holistic' approach to Video Surveillance System Design, need not be unnecessarily complex, particularly when it starts with step 1, which is an overall Crime Audit (CA)
Before you can address any given problems, you first need to understand the scope and complexity of any criminal behaviour which has previously taken place.
For most assessments, Doktor Jon will generally apply three distinct levels of analysis; ‘Global'' (category 1) which will relate to the entire premises, site or location, ‘Macro’ (category 2) which applies to a specific area or sector on the site, and ‘Micro’ (category 3) which relates to a defined point on the drawing or map.