Making Sense of Big Data to Fight Crime
The challenge for any police force is targeting the right areas in which crime will occur. This goes beyond just neighborhoods -- this includes specific streets, blocks, time of day, weather conditions, as well as other factors. But with the right analytics tools in place, such data that is complemented with traditional crime-fighting methods can be invaluable.
Analytics technology is assisting law-enforcement agencies all over the world to sort through information to get ahead of crime. Having access to all that information is an important resource for law enforcement agencies, but it can also be pretty paralyzing if there is no way to make connections from oceans of seemingly unrelated data.
When used in the right context, such analytics technology can help law enforcement agencies make sense of the data. And it helps to derive real insight in a real-time or near real-time way to prevent crime -- this is the power of predictive analytics.
Technology is helping and reinforcing traditional police work, to speed the process and act as a force multiplier. It's all about analyzing past events, recognizing trends and patterns, and rooting out commonalities and correlations. Technology is making things work faster and quickly bubbling up connections that would have taken days, weeks, or months before. And it's not just the larger cities like Los Angeles and New York that are complementing traditional police work with technology. Small- to medium-sized cities also understand the value of making their cities safer. And they are able to demonstrate a return on city expenditures, which over time, helps make communities safer.
An excellent example is the work that the Charleston Police Department is doing to reduce crime and increase the safety of its citizens. The department is piloting a predictive analytics system that will give its 400-plus officers a more holistic view into historical crime statistics and patterns in order to prevent crime before it happens.
This represents an interesting addition to policing practice. Departments constantly look for ways to better react and respond. Today, with the help of technology, law enforcement agencies also have a much better understanding of what patterns of crime are likely to happen and where, and are much more capable of deploying resources to head off those same crimes before they ever happen.
The job is still about catching bad guys. But today, it's also about understanding the make up of crime patterns, historical trends and events, and preparing the force to act proactively at the right place at the right time.
Discover more. Click to view our infographic on how analytics are helping police forces make our cities safer.