ESRI software helps pinpoint crime hotspots

In a bid to fight crime more effectively computer based maps are now being used pinpoint criminal behaviour more effectively.

Oct 6, 2005
By David Howell
Picture: Police Scotland

In a bid to fight crime more effectively computer based maps are now being used pinpoint criminal behaviour more effectively.

Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) in areas including West Midlands, Barking and Dagenham, Newcastle, Nottingham and South Yorkshire are now using a new software tool called Crime Analyst from ESRI (UK), to make data mapping and analysis a more mainstream weapon against criminal behaviour.

The system allows the creation of reliable crime maps of geographical areas in minutes rather than hours. It is able to uncovering crime patterns, like journey to crime, repeat offences, time of crime and geographical hotspots, and can reduce the time taken to compare and link similar offences. Mark Patrick, head of Public Safety at ESRI (UK) said: “Crime Analyst is helping to make the UK a safer place by providing the police with intelligence more quickly so that they can respond to crime trends more effectively.

While mapping has been an important crime fighting weapon for the police and local authorities for many years, creating statistical maps takes time which is a luxury that they cannot afford.”

The systems has been used by South Yorkshire Police to map police attended incidents as part of its restructuring and re-allocation of resources across the county. Crime Analyst was used to examine 300,000 separate incidents and perform detailed analysis, such as locating incident hotspots, looking for related patterns, times and days of the week. This has helped South Yorkshire Police to more effectively restructure its resources, focusing on the highest areas, times and types of incident.

Warwickshire Police has used Crime Analyst to understand and tackle the causes of road traffic collisions in the county. Phil Moore, the Data Analyst for the Road Safety Unit, explained that Crime Analyst`s benefit was that detailed analysis of crime or casualty patterns could be achieved at the touch of a button using the system`s specific functions, for example its Journey to crime, Repeat Victim or Temporal Clock tools.

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