\" A joint initiative between Derbyshire County Council , Derbyshire Constabulary and local statutory partners, wanted to identify juvenile crime hotspots near three schools in order to deploy resources such as Police Community Support Officers more effectively....\"The above News appeared in \"TopTen News\" GeoUK Publication, Sep/Oct 2010, Volume 8, Issue 4.Below Ian Broadbent, gives a detailed insight.
CHALLENGE: The Safer Derbyshire Partnership, a joint initiative between Derbyshire County Council , Derbyshire Constabulary and local statutory partners, wanted to identify juvenile crime hotspots near three schools in order to deploy resources such as Police Community Support Officers more effectively. SOLUTION: The Safer Derbyshire team chose Pitney Bowes Business Insightâs MapInfoÂ® Crime Profiler, a location intelligence solution that enables law enforcement agencies to map, visualise and analyse crime data. MapInfo Crime Profiler uncovered a number of youth crime hotspots, allowing the Council and Police to make effective decisions about the deployment of resources in schools and on bus routes.OVERVIEW:Derbyshire County Council is a local government authority with responsibility for providing public services to some 750,000 people living in this largely rural East Midlands county. Its responsibilities include working with the countyâs Police force, Derbyshire Constabulary, to manage and reduce crime and to make Derbyshire a safer place to live. To help to achieve these aims, the Safer Derbyshire Partnership was established to co-ordinate efforts between the Council, the Police and other local public sector agencies to tackle and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in line with national targets.In 2009 the Safer Derbyshire Partnership identified a need to deploy closely-targeted resources to combat youth crime concentrated in and around a number of the regionâs schools. Residents had complained of juvenile criminal and anti-social behaviour ranging from noise and nuisance to theft and assault. Calls to the Police coupled with minutes from community meetings suggested that criminal and anti-social behaviour tended to peak at certain times of the day and in certain geographic locations. The Safer Derbyshire Research and Information team (SDRI) wanted to pinpoint these youth crime âhotspotsâ in order to support the deployment of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), Youth Offending Teams and other resources as effectively as possible. To map the hotspots, the Safer Derbyshire Partnership selected Pitney Bowes Business Insightâs MapInfoÂ® Crime Profiler software, which Partnership Analyst Clare Usherwood had seen demonstrated at 2009âs Crime Mapping Conference. MapInfo Crime Profiler is a location intelligence solution that combines multiple discrete data sets to create detailed maps and visualisations of criminal activity, including temporal and spatial hotspots. Usherwood knew immediately that MapInfo Crime Profiler was the solution that Safer Derbyshire needed. âMapInfo Crime Profilerâs capabilities align perfectly to our needs,â she said. âWhereas previously we had relied upon Microsoft Excel for data capture and the basic MapInfo package for grid analysis, with MapInfo Crime Profiler we can now map crime types and locations, establish trends and use the information to deploy resources more effectively. Itâs definitely helping us to build a safer community.âThe first step for the SDRI was to load a number of different data sets into MapInfo Crime Profiler in order to correlate the data and produce a detailed map of youth crime hotspots. Data sets ranging from school attendance registers and the Guardian crime database to Derbyshire Constabularyâs calls for service records and Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) intervention register were cleaned and formatted using InfoShare OmniData gazetteer before being loaded into MapInfo Crime Profiler. The SDRI team then added data from the minutes of residentsâ association and other community group meetings in order to check if the identified hotspots matched up with residentsâ complaints. Maps of local highways and bus routes were also included, as one of the objectives of the investigation was to reduce juvenile crime by deploying PCSOs on buses at appropriate times of day. RESULTSOnce the data had been cleaned, formatted and loaded into MapInfo Crime Profiler, the SDRI team were able to start producing visualisations immediately. MapInfo Crime Profiler quickly revealed a number of crime and anti-social behaviour hotspots around individual schools and bus routes and at certain times of the day and night.Although there was some work to do to fine-tune bandwidths to ensure that individual crimes in low-crime areas did not appear as hotspots, Usherwood says that MapInfo Crime Profilerâs ability to produce accurate and detailed maps saved weeks of work. âWe couldnât have analysed the data to this degree without it,â she said. âIt would have taken weeks in Excel, but with Crime Profiler we can simply load the datasets and start pulling results straight out.âThe hotspot maps produced by MapInfo Crime Profiler are now being used by the Community Safety Reduction Partnerships and Derbyshire Constabulary to decide where and when to deploy resources to tackle crime and liaise with the community. To date five initiatives have been launched as a result of the analysis, ranging from deploying youth workers in local parks to dealing with teenage intoxication, to identifying individuals who could benefit from being included in the countyâs Street Games programme, a community diversionary scheme that aims to channel young peopleâs energy into sport rather than crime. In future, the data will also inform a much more closely targeted deployment of PCSOs on buses, as well as enabling youth crime and community liaison services to co-locate more effectively in Derbyshireâs schools.As for Derbyshireâs use of MapInfo Crime Profiler, this research project has been just the start. âWeâre already using MapInfo Crime Profiler to map violent crimes over the past two years to identify emerging trends,â said Usherwood. âMapInfo Crime Profiler is enabling us to conduct more complex, in-depth trend analysis. As a result, weâre now able to identify and visualise trends that were previously invisible. We expect MapInfo Crime Profiler to be used extensively to support the valuable work of the Safer Derbyshire Partnership.â
Author: Ian Broadbent, Strategic Industry Manager
Bio.: Policing and Crime Analysis, PBBI
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