Document icon Report

Social Network Analysis for Law Enforcement

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.

Click here to open the resource in a new tab >

Subscribe icon Subscribe to receive updates and resources from the National Case Closed Project!
Funding Support

This Web site is funded in whole or in part through a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this Web site (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).

BJA Logo RTI Logo

Copyright 2024. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy.

RTI International is a trade name of Research Triangle Institute. RTI and the RTI logo are U.S. registered trademarks of Research Triangle Institute.