Detecting criminal activity: Where crime occurs

Published 05 May 2017

Table of content


Television and the movies have always capitalized on the fascination of people on forensics, detective work, or the theme on the tension between the good versus evil workings. Ordinary people, even the not-so educated ones are exposed to television programming, i.e., C.S.I., where they also begin to understand and get into the criminal mind and even try to predict the criminal’s predatory activities.

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How do people end up becoming victims? How do criminals plan who they will prey on and other important features that crime usually occurs? Who are the vulnerable groups and where do criminals usually attack their victims? These are queries that this paper attempts to answer and elaborate in brief and concise form.


Every police department or government system on crime investigation has information regarding the profiling of criminals as well as their victims. There are surveys conducted to determine the population’s perception of criminality in specific areas. For instance, a survey will reveal what and who people fear the most regarding criminality that might happen to them.

Research reveals that there are indicators that point where criminality is likely to occur and diligent and industrious police work help target these areas. General results show that aside from police precincts which are obvious sources of vital information on criminal activities, others like neighborhood councils, the local authority highway and lightings, local authority planning department, health authorities, city drug councils, fire service, chambers of trade and commerce, local support networks and all employment services are important sources of information where predators are likely to operate. Moreover, these avenues provide a comprehensive view of crimes that likely have occurred and show patterns of what they term as “hotspots ” (Hough & Tilley, 1998).

Aside from the vulnerability of victims, such as the elderly, the mentally ill and the more innocent or naïve types that can be easily conned and victimized (children or youth), other important features are presented in the abovementioned vicinities or sources. The neighborhood councils can identify their safety hotspots in the disputes that frequently are heard and reported. Local authority highway and lightings look into reports of traffic incidents and requests of lightings requests which reveal what activities are usually going on in these areas where lighting is requested. Health authorities point to treatments offered to incidents related to crime give immediate clues to these happenings; while city drug councils provide information on statistics regarding drug and alcohol use in the vicinities. The fire service on the other hand provides information on suspicious fires, hoax calls of fire and actual arson activities. The chambers of trade and commerce are also good sources because they are typically the targets of robbery, looting, hold-up and other crimes. The local support networks frequently are busy because victims usually come to their aid despite the high rate that victims also do not report their plight for fear of retaliation. Importantly, educational institutions excellently provide some of the necessary profiles. Bullying, truancy, and conduct problems are keys to both victimizations and juvenile crime data. Children and teens who frequently and reportedly become problems in school are likely to be sources and victims of harassment to say the least, oftentimes they become society’s headache. All of these provide a comprehensive look where predators are likely to operate because many of the reports coming (Hough & Tilley, 1998).


Crimes usually occur because the con artists that criminals have become know that there are people they can readily manipulate and exploit. They have spent ample time studying their prospective victims and plan their way out as well. Vulnerable groups probably should be educated on these facts and be armed to defend themselves somehow. As mentioned earlier, society, especially the government, has a lot of responsibilities toward protecting its citizenry, and the identification of hotspots, vulnerable groups help a lot to minimize the incidents of crime.


  • Hough, Michael and Nick Tilley. 1998. Auditing Crime and Disorder: Guidance for local partnerships: Crime detection and prevention series, Paper 91.
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