Police forces take on predictive analytics
Law enforcement data mining is the latest weapon in the police arsenal. According to a recent report by InformationWeek, the Charleston, South Carolina, police department has begun testing new predictive analytics technology that will give officers an accurate picture of where and when crimes are likely to occur, allowing for intelligent use of resources.
The source stated that crimes take place with a detectable order, meaning that an advanced analytics model will make the pattern emerge from the underlying causes. The goal is to narrow down which areas of the city are at the greatest risk of danger at any given time, providing data-based suggestions for officer deployment.
InformationWeek reported that the same types of patterns exist in various forms of crime. The Charleston program is based on predicting robberies. As it moves out of the pilot stage, however, developers hope to extend the program to a variety of offenses.
According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, the Los Angeles Police Department is also interested in predictive analytics. The source stated that the LAPD added predictive systems to the Foothill Patrol Division and have since seen crime drop 13 percent. Burglaries are a particular area of success, lowering by 36 percent.