Crime data like any other dataset can be mapped using a geographical information system (GIS) as long as there is some location information. Once the data is in the GIS, a variety of tools can be used to identify trends and hotspots. Such information may be used to target enforcement or other interventions. GIS software will also allow the user to overlay other datasets such as census information, which may allow the user to get a better understanding of the underlying causes of crime.
Crime mapping may be useful to licensed and retail premises. Dutyholders can record when and where violence or crime occurs in and around their premises and build up a 'crime map'. This can give dutyholders an understanding of crime hotspots and causes of crime, allowing appropriate control measures to be put in place to try to reduce incidents of violence and crime.