shows the importance of following security policies and procedures as well as
analyzing the crime statistics and other internal data thoroughly.
Law Enforcement Data versus Social
Disorder Models
Some companies have used social disorder models in place of crime analy-
sis, though more and more are realizing the problems associated with these
models. Since the publication of Applied Crime Analysis in 2001, the author
has seen more than 90 percent of his security consulting firms clients migrate
away from using social disorder theories toward utilizing true crime analysis.
While those numbers are substantial, still many organizations do not under-
stand the concerns of social disorder models, the most problematic of which
are discussed here.
Social disorder models are based primarily on criminological theory with
little practical use since the primary source of their metrics is demographic
data. Among the primary problems of the social disorder model is the failure
to publish the methodology used in arriving at the model’s results. Without a
published and peer-reviewed methodology, security professionals cannot rely
on the data, and one can only imagine the implications of having a large part
of a company’s risk model rejected by the courts during litigation. Security
directors have a responsibility to fully understand the risk model they use and
to be prepared to explain it in deposition and trial when representing their
company in litigation.
Another problem associated with social disorder models is their reliance on
demographic data. Although private firms collect demographic data more fre-
quently, the majority of demographic data in the United States is only collected
every 10 years via the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Because of the time lag needed
to obtain the demographic data and the subsequent time required to develop
the model from that data, results are not timely. Social disorder models also
present some challenges in effectively removing race from the analysis since the
base demographic data are based on an areas population and its characteris-
tics, including socioeconomic levels, education levels, and personal traits of the
populace such as age, sex, and race. Contrary to FBI crime reports and actual
police data, large areas of the United States are considered high crime accord-
ing to social disorder models, necessitating many companies to discontinue use
of the model in large parts of the country. Some companies have faced charges
of redlining, which is the private-sector equivalent of racial profiling, resulting
in a negative impact on the corporate reputation.
Advantages of Law Enforcement Data
Police data represents the most widely used source data for crime analysis
because it presents an accurate crime history for a property and is from an
objective source. Since police departments don’t have a stake in a company or
Crime Analysis 61

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