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Automating Analytics

By [email protected] - 10th April 2009 - 10:28

At the best of times, policy makers and the police require every competitive advantage they can get to combat crime, but in an economic downturn this edge can be critical in tackling the predicted climb in crime rates. In such an environment, Ian Broadbent, Strategic Industry Manager, Policing and Crime Analysis, Pitney Bowes Business Insight, sees the automation of crime analysis as an effective route to operational efficiencies. Here he outlines how MapInfo Crime Profilerâ¢, a new module for Pitney Bowes Business Insight MapInfo Professional® can assist police forces in their mission to prevent, detect and investigate crime.
From a Recent News:ARRESTING THE ANALYSISMapInfo Crime Profiler⢠automates much of the statistical legwork that sits behind crime analysis and visualisation, allowing users to perform sophisticated analyses more quickly and easily through an intuitive dashboard interface. Three UK police forces have already invested in the solution, which is expected to play a major role in helping improve policing effectiveness in the UK.In its latest report on the use of GI in the public sector, the UKâs Department for Communities and Local Government highlighted the urgent need for automation to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of crucial analytical output. The report notes that: âCurrent users of Geographic Information spend 80% of their time collating and managing the information and only 20% analysing it to solve problems and generate benefits. We need to address this imbalance.âBelow Ian Broadbent, Strategic Industry Manager, Policing and Crime Analysis, PBBI, gives a detailed insight into the broader issue of crime analysis. In recent weeks the two high profile cases of serial rapists have seen UK police forces come under a great deal of criticism for failing to identify â and bring to justice - the offenders before they went on to commit more crimes. A number of national newspapers have printed simple maps showing how the victims were clustered in a particular area, for example along a single bus route, and have criticised the police for not having done such straight forward analysis much sooner themselves. However, whilst it is relatively easy to plot pins on a map to demonstrate a telling pattern or trend, they mean little until the data is analysed in depth, accounting for numerous elements of information from a variety of different sources (temporal, geographic etc). In order to identify the likely patterns and trends which may help to catch criminals before they are given the opportunity to reoffend, crime analysts must map out numerous possible scenarios and possibilities. Analysing patterns of crime from a wide variety of different perspectives helps to direct law enforcement efforts where they can be most effective. However, these patterns are in a constant state of flux, and the professional crime analyst often has to explore a number of different data combinations, scenarios and geographical aspects in order to provide law enforcement teams with the intelligence they need to be operationally effective. Combining vast amounts of data in an array of different combinations can be a massively time consuming process. In fact, according to the UK Department for Communities and Governmentâs latest report into the use of geographical information in the public sector, âCurrent users of geographic information spend 80 per cent of their time collating and managing the information and only 20 per cent analysing it to solve problems and generate benefits. We need to address this imbalanceâ. Comments such as this reveal the extent to which crime analysts are crying out for their organisations to invest in solutions that enable them to do their job more effectively. Especially when the financial and sociological consequences of failure and success in their job are so high; investigating a single murder can cost a police force around £3 million in investigation costs. Therefore anything that may increase the chances of preventing such an incident occurring in the first place provides huge potential benefits both to crime professionals, and to the citizens they are employed to serve. It is little wonder then that three UK police forces have been quick to invest in a solution which automates much of the statistical legwork behind crime analsyis and visualisation. In MapInfo Crime Profilerâ¢, they have found a valuable tool which removes the need for their analysts to devote a substantial proportion of their efforts to time-consuming statistical manipulation, such as creating macros or pivot tables in SPSS or MS Excel. Instead, these tasks are automated through a dashboard interface. The Geo-spatial Intelligence Analyst at West Midlands Police, Andy Brumwell has gone on the record to say that if the promised level of automation can be achieved with MapInfo Crime Profiler, the efficiency gains are very considerable indeed.In a nutshell MapInfo Crime Profiler⢠introduces significant efficiency and capability gains for police forces across all their key areas of crime analysis and visualisation, including: crime pattern analysis; criminal network, market and business profiles; offender risk analysis; intelligence assessments for individual operations; and law enforcement results analysis. It helps police forces to get the right resources in the right place at the right time, aiding improved detection rates, minimising the number of victims of crime, reducing the fear of crime, protecting vulnerable people, managing risk and reducing harm. It provides ready-to-use crime analysis software components that save analystsâ time by making analysis tools available at one common point with one common format. Additionally, it also provides an easily scalable platform to which components can be added as new techniques are developed, as a police forceâs enterprise needs grow, and as budgets become available.Crime professionals have a duty to do all that they can to protect the general public they are employed to serve, and organisations have an obligation to provide the appropriate tools that will allow their staff to do this effectively. MapInfo Crime Professional allows analysts to spend less time collating and processing information and more of their time actually analysing the data for relevant patterns and trends. The potential benefit of this increased efficiency, both to society at large and to police forces is huge and that is why MapInfo Crime Profiler⢠should be considered a vital weapon in the armoury of all analysts entrusted with the task of preventing, detecting and investigating crime.Go to to download the MapInfo Crime Profiler⢠data sheet or email [email protected] for more information.

Author: Ian Broadbent. Strategic Industry Manager

Bio.: Policy Crime & Analysis PitneyBowesBusinessInsight

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