Police investigations "à la carte"
University of Liège geomaticians have applied a numerical crime mapping methodology to the simulation of a police investigation. A simulation based on real events, in other words a series of crimes orchestrated by a single gang using a single car. On the basis of information divulged by the Federal Police Force, they had to imagine the most plausible scenario concerning the gang’s itinerary and thus designate on a map the zones which could potentially accommodate their withdrawal site. And the results are astonishing.
A case of operational crime mapping
The case in question is thus the simulation of an operational investigation. The police divulged to the University department information about a series of acts committed by a band of criminals.
Vector method and raster method
There exist two ways of storing and utilising geographic data numerically. The vector method and, which was the method used in this study, the raster method, which consists of cutting up an image into several information units, cells, or pixels.
(1) J.P. Kasprzyk, M. Trotta, K. Broxham, J.P. Donnay, Reconstitution of the journeys to crime and location of their origin in the context of a crime series. A raster solution for a real case study, in Michael Leitner (Ed.), Crime Modeling and Mapping Using Geospatial Technologies, Springer, 2012