Journal of International Information Management


Tlie efficacy of new policing techniques has called in to question a long held canon of criminologists: that vast social forces (such as poverty, racism and demographics) beyond police control are the primary determinants of criminal activity. A new approach to policing called COMSTAT (computerized analysis of crime statistics) has resulted in a significant reduction in criminal activity within the cities that have adopted it according to FBI Uniform Crime Report data. These results were achieved by quickly identifying and targeting minor social disorders crimes (such as graffiti, loitering, and vandalism) before they lead to major social disorders (such as robberies, rapes, and homicides). This paper discusses the information and management theory underlying the COMSTAT approach to policing.