In Canada, a job as a crime analyst falls under the domain of public safety. Big data has become huge across diverse industries such as business, finance, national security, law enforcement, real estate, marketing, and health care. People are needed with the skills and qualifications to analyze this information and arrive at conclusions and recommendations that decision-making can be applied to. The demand for intelligence analysis has grown exponentially. If a career as a crime analyst appeals to you, find out more about what it entails.
The Roles a Crime Analyst Is Expected to Play
The core function of a crime analyst is to interpret big data and transform it into trends, patterns, series, and hot spots to recognize, foresee, and counteract crime. The crime analyst does not work directly with the public but reports information to those that do in a format that enhances their ability to take the correct action.
The main functions are data research and analytics, compiling reports, and making presentations. Data research and analytics require the incumbent to search for and generate large amounts of data for analysis. Skill with geographical information systems (GIS), crime mapping systems and other relevant software is essential. Reports must contain tables or graphs to supplement the written word and make it more accessible to the reader. Presentations are used to ensure understanding and provide clarity and give context to a report or findings.
Skills, Qualifications, and Key Duties of a Crime Analyst
Specific skills you will need are problem-solving, critical thinking, the competency to conduct research and apply statistical methodology, being a good communicator verbally and when writing reports, a logical mind, and high computer literacy.
The minimum qualification for a crime analyst is a bachelor’s degree. This must be in a field related to the social sciences, statistics, or criminal justice. In addition, practical experience is required in law enforcement or data analysis.
Crime analysts are expected to be committed to protecting the public and maintaining public safety. This is their key job description.
What Will You Be Paid as a Crime Analyst?
A crime analyst will earn $78,941 on average, while the starting salary begins at around $72,014. The top analysts make up to $89,412 per annum in 2022. By contrast, a financial advisor earns $66,871, a program analyst $67,909, a financial analyst $70,714, a systems analyst $75,229, and a business analyst $77,843.
Career Opportunities for a Crime Analyst in Canada
A report by Statistics Canada indicated that over 50,000 jobs would open up in the field over the next ten years. Some of the jobs that are becoming readily available are market intelligence analyst, intelligence analyst, intelligence officer, risk management analyst, investigator, and corporate risk manager. A new area that has emerged and continues to increase its scope is cybersecurity, and many positions are obtainable in this field.
Under the Canadian government, public safety is responsible for law enforcement and dealing with crime, terrorism, and natural disasters. Within this arena, there are multiple job titles and opportunities. If you are ready to advance in your career as a crime analyst, you could consider an Online Master of Public Safety degree from Wilfrid Laurier Online University or one of five graduate diplomas. While only a bachelor’s degree (plus experience) is required to enter the field as a crime analyst, having additional qualifications will give you the edge in raking in the larger income. Nowadays, much, if not all the studying can be done online, allowing you to work in an entry-level job to gain the necessary experience.
As a crime analyst, you will cover various aspects of analysis, such as business, financial, and fraud analysis when dealing with fraud cases. You could take on the role of an intelligence officer, risk manager, cybercrime analyst, or compliance manager. While some countries still differentiate between a crime analyst and an intelligence officer, other countries are starting to close the gap and align the two jobs. The optimal deployment of public safety resources operationally, tactically, and strategically is reliant on the joint analysis and integration of both criminal intelligence information and crime data.
Cybercrime is also called computer crime. It involves the utilisation of a computer to commit criminal acts. Recently, cybercrime has been in the news with reports of Putin using it in the war between Russia and Ukraine. It has also shown an increasing global trend. Crime analysts will deal with cybercrime as one of their areas of work.
Cybercrime crosses boundaries of jurisdiction as the crime can target a victim in another country. Geographical space is no barrier to cybercrime. The victim may be an individual, a corporation, or a government.
Examples of cybercrimes are identity theft, breach of privacy, blackmail, fraud, child pornography, money laundering, counterfeiting, and digital piracy. Most of these also occur outside the digital world but would be analysed differently. The other side of cybercrime is crimes related to the purposeful disruption of the internet. Cyberterrorism involves attacks on the use of the internet that is designed to negatively impact a country’s technological and economic infrastructure and are carried out by criminals and terrorists from other countries.
These examples indicate some of the data a crime analyst will need to research and generate big data from. The resulting analysis will provide input and intelligence to law enforcement personnel on the ground to guide them in their decision-making processes and actions.
Crime analysts are needed in the public safety domain more now than before. Job opportunities are opening up and the crime analyst can earn a decent salary performing his requisite duties. If you are interested in fighting crime and are a competent researcher and analyst, there is plenty of scope for finding employment in this field in Canada, as well as many other countries. Remember that great, not just good, communication skills are a prerequisite. The crime analyst needs to convey information in a way that is usable and easy to grasp, however complex the data that had to be analysed. However, with the right qualifications and experience, you can soon be earning a top salary.