A crime map is used to geographically target problem areas, make patterns of behavior depending on the sectors, come up with diagnoses, and from this information, improve allocation of resources available to a force responsible for providing security.
To perform this type of map all the statistical information possible is needed; otherwise, the conclusions will be limited and will not allow good planning for crime prevention.
However, a report by the General Audit Office (AGN, for its acronym in Spanish) said that the Federal Argentine Police drew a map of the crime taking into account only the facts alleged in police stations without relying on other data.
In their report, the AGN presents some statistics obtained by public bodies relating to security that if they would have been considered, they would have changed the map considerably.
For example, a "study of victimization" held in Buenos Aires in 2005 by the Criminal Policy of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights Office. That document concluded that 72% of crimes that year were not reported to the police, adding that one third of the total number decided not to go to the authorities because "the police will not do anything."
In 2007, the city watchdog carried on other research by dividing the 15 Municipalities and Town Centers Management and Community Participation (CGPC, for its acronym in Spanish). The aim of the study was to determine the percentage of victimization in relation to the population of each area. So it was known that the average for the entire Capital was 26% with peaks of 13.3% in the Recoleta area and 33.7% in Villa Lugano, Villa Soldati and Riachuelo.
While reports of Federal and other agencies were made from different constraints (in the first case, the division is by police, the second, by municipalities), making it impossible to make a homogeneous comparison, the Audit tried to draw a kind of equivalence for the investigation: for example, it explained that "the territory of the Commune 8, comprising the districts of Villa Lugano, Villa Riachuelo, and Villa Soldati, correspond to the jurisdictions of Police Stations 36, 48, and 52 ".
Here the differences arise. When we take only the facts alleged by the Federal Police stations 36, 48, and 52, we can obtain an average of 5.7% for victimization in that area of the Capital in 2007, 33.7% away from the study that determined city government in that same year.
The AGN concludes that, "based on this comparison, it is impossible to analyze the criminal phenomenon exclusively from criminal acts effectively denounced, because while the level of victimization puts District 8 at the top of the rate of victimization in the Federal Capital, the Police Stations with jurisdiction in that area recorded a lower level of overall complaints when comparing their number to the City’s".
The report of the Audit Office also explained that every Police Station draws up a map in which the crimes occurred in their jurisdiction are organized, classifying them according to the different types of crimes in the Penal Code and special laws. But, it was noted that each agency "used their own way of making statistics, (so) mapping the crimes is not homogeneous."
That's not all. For one Internal Agenda Order (ODI, for its acronym in Spanish), dated May 2008, the Criminal Intelligence Directorate had to develop analytical felony reports including qualitative, quantitative, and comparative analysis of the evolution of general theft offenses, assault with a deadly weapon, fit with motorcycle, auto-theft, and other crimes, and must refer them to the Superintendent of Metropolitan Security, Interior, and Federal Complex crimes and Federal Research. But the auditors were not informed about the preparation of these reports.
Furthermore, analysis of the Memoirs of the Federal "in homogeneity of the information provided by the Police, it is also noticed and only in 10% of cases it reflects the relationship between the institution and the Community, an issue that would help in constructing the map of crime".
The watchdog achieved these findings during an investigation that culminated in March 2010, before the Federal Police passed from the orbit of the Ministry of Justice to Security –which occurred in December of that year-. But to know the details of this work they had to wait 20 months until the end of 2011, until the adoption and distribution of the report arrived.