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Geographic Information Systems for police managers

Date of event: August 31, 2010

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Event Briefing

In collaboration with the Scottish Police College we are very pleased to offer a very limited number of specially-priced places on this full-day seminar which examines Geographic Information Systems for Police Managers.

These places are available for academics, policy makers, and others non-police employees. PLEASE NOTE: Police staff should book through their SPOC (see below).


Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are increasingly central to the Scottish Police Service in Command and Control, Performance Management and Traffic Management, as well as in investigations of crime patterns.

A contract to provide a Crime Analyst GIS package to all eight Scottish forces has been agreed with ESRI (UK). This course aims to provide a non-technical overview of GIS, its data requirements and analytical capabilities, using examples of its use in policing to allow the full potential of the GIS package to be realised.


The types of GIS data available to the Scottish Police Services will be discussed and the types of analysis that can be carried out will be explained.

The course will:

  • Describe the key principles of data storage and analysis in GIS, and how it differs from paper maps or image files
  • Cover how to interrogate and analyse data geographically, e.g. to identify incidents within a certain distance of a given location will be explored
  • Highlight the importance of ‘geo-referencing’
  • Explain the different ways to convert ‘geo-codes’ (e.g. street names) to map co-ordinates

Case studies of GIS in policing will be utilised in the final part of the course whilst giving consideration to the different obstacles that may inhibit the potential of GIS.


Senior police officers (Chief Inspector and above), and police staff of equivalent standing whether working in management or operational roles.


At the end of this course delegates will:

  • Have knowledge of the main components and requirements of GIS
  • Understand geo-referencing and its importance for unlocking the potential of GIS
  • Be aware of the main types of data interrogation and analysis that GIS can perform and have a knowledge of some of the ways in which GIS has been used by the police


Dr Alistair Geddes is a lecturer in Geography at Dundee University. He has a Master of Science in Geographic Information Systems from the University of Edinburgh and has extensive experience of using GIS in social and economic research including geographic socio-demographic profiling. He currently teaches GIS to a range of post-graduate students.

Dr Donald Houston has recently joined St Andrews University as a lecturer in Geography and previously taught a 30-hour module in GIS to geography, environmental science and town planning undergraduate students at Dundee University. His research has used GIS to assess geographic patterns of vulnerability to flooding.


In collaboration with the Scottish Police College we are very pleased to offer a very limited number of places on this full-day seminar at a special rate of £75 (the normal rate for CPD events charged by the College is £150). This offer is available to all non-police officers, including academics, policy makers and planners. Please note that police officers should apply for places directly via their own Force or partner agency Single Point of Contact (SPOC).

This will be a full-day course. Times will be advised with joining instructions. Lunch and refreshments will be included. On arrival at the College, delegates should make their way to the reception area of the Culzean Building.

For further details, please contact the Research and Knowledge Transfer Manager, Tim Heilbronn (

The Scottish Police College CPD Programme
Scottish Police College

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