Compstat is a system of operation that was created in the 1990s by New York Police Department Commissioner (NYPD) to reorient the police towards crime reduction through advanced accountability and information sharing. The system was later integrated into all police operations of crime management in New York. The system is statistics based. The statistics of map dots are the ones used to determine the nature of a crime. Managing crime through the Compstat system was innovative at first in the field of policing, but with time the flaws exceeded the strengths. The system was created to reduce crime, but its critics argue that it increases criminology since not all criminal actions are dealt with appropriately.
How Compstat Has Been Used
Compstat system has been used by police to identify and control crime acts. Upon an occurrence of a crime, police immediately feed all the information about the scene into a computer program. The program then maps out the scene to identify when and where the action happened. When the information about the scene is gathered, officers are deployed in the area of crime to prevent further crime. Deploying officers in the crime scene depends on the nature of the crime. Officers who have better know-how about the kind of crime that has occurred are sent in the scene. For instance, if it’s a case of drug abuse, then officers trained about drugs will be deployed in the scene. In general, Compstat involves four crucial components. These components involve intelligence, fast resources deployment, effective tactics, and active follow-up. All these steps must be followed up when dealing with criminology using Compstat method.
Managing crimes under Compstat technique take place in intervals. For instance, when done weekly, the officers accorded with that duty compiles a statistical summary of the crimes complaints, arrests, a written report of the critical cases and the crime patterns. The information that includes the crime location and time the crime happened is then forwarded to the head of department Compstat unit for it to be loaded to a common database. The unit then analyzes the data and comes up with a weekly report.
How Compstat has been Abused over Years
Though the Compstat technique sounded effective at first, the entire process has been abused by those in charge. The pressure subjected to the Compstat unit to give regular crime report makes them manipulate crime information. Besides, the expectation of the public that the unit will provide a statement indicating reduction of crime has led to the unit producing fake crime statistics to avoid being questioned by the public. Furthermore, claims have been raised that some of the officers in the Compstat unit go to an extra mile of lure the victims in the crime scenes not to file complaints. Corruption of data is the worst misuse of Compstat technique. It is clear that the public has great trust in the entire idea of Compstat since it is technology based. Therefore, the information given by Compstat unit is believed to be true. In a situation where the statistics were corrupted, the public will be significantly misled.
Another misuse of Compstat is when it is used to give information about a crime without adequate evidence. Upon the occurrence of a crime, it is always advisable for the police to research the crime scene to determine the real nature of the crime. The police are mandated with the duty to determine where, how and when the scene occurred. As earlier stated, Compstat relies on information fed on a computer program upon the occurrence of a crime. The statistics fed on these computer programs are not always evidence-based. In most cases, the Compstat ignores gathering facts on how the crime happened and why. The time factor is the crucial element behind unsupported data in Compstat department. Sometimes, the unit is so pressured to report on the crime scenes. In this case, the police will not have enough time to carry out adequate research about a crime. Therefore, the police end up giving the wrong report hence misleading the public which is a misuse of the whole Compstat unit.
Suggestion on How to Improve Compstat
Compstat is one of the excellent means of managing crimes in a country. It is technology based on a factor that makes it perfect for use in the current generation. However, some improvements are needed in the entire system for it to be most effective. Firstly, there should be adequate follow up before describing a crime. The information collected should cover all the aspects of a crime before it is fed to the computer program. The Compstat unit also should be given enough time to gather all the necessary information about a crime before providing the final report.
Compstat system should be made in a manner to focus on long term goals. Setting long term goals will mean that the system will not just focus on dots occurring on the map relating to one crime scene. Instead, it will be made to account for possible future crimes of a similar kind. In this case, Compstat will show a significant improvement as there will be no more pressure of doing much investigation the nature of every case especially when a similar crime had happened and investigated before.