Geocomputation, Geodemographics and Resource Allocation for Local Policing


David I Ashby, Department of Geography and Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London, 1-19 Torrington Place, London W1E 7HB, United Kingdom. E-mail:


The field of geodemographics is one of the most fertile applications areas of geocomputation research. Geodemographic profiles of the characteristics of individuals and small areas are pivotal to tactical and strategic resource management in many areas of business, and are becoming similarly central to efficient and effective deployment of resources by public services. In this context, this paper describes research that has been developed in partnership with the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary and Institute of Criminal Justice Studies (ICJS) at the University of Portsmouth to assess the potential use of geodemographics as a policing tool. Crime, the fear of crime and the efficacy of public services are issues that have moved to the top of the UK political agenda and have long been matters of serious public concern. This paper considers the ways in which police forces might use geodemographics to better deploy resources at a variety of spatial scales in England and Wales.