Social Network Analysis (SNA) is a way of understanding human behavior (including crime) through people's relations and interactions. In addition, SNA provides analysts with an important set of analytic tools to study this behavior (McGloin & Kirk, 2010, p. 169). For the purposes of this paper, the Committee will focus on SNA's contribution to helping us understand criminal networks, co-offending patterns, and victimization. Primarily, the usefulness of SNA to law enforcement hinges on the fact that knowing who a person associates with (whether s/he be a suspect, victim, or potential witness) can aid in predicting that person's future movements. It is well documented that crime and victimization are not randomly distributed across people or space. In addition, victims and offenders are often connected in multiple ways and play varying roles in criminal events (such as a victim, offender, co-offender, or witness - often swapping in different events) and in daily social life (such as an acquaintance, family member, spouse/partner, etc.). Furthermore, these criminal networks are situated in larger communities.
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