18 January 2018
Gloucestershire Constabulary is using analytics software in an effort to improve policing strategies, gain real-time insight into incidents, and identify crime hotspots.
Serving 600,000 residents across the county and policing more than 1,000 square miles of urban centres and rural environments, the police force wanted to gain an up-to-date picture of incidents across the county.
It has deployed SAS’ Visual Analytics and Visual Statistics software to create automated reports and present the data on a set of dashboards.
This will enable the constabulary to draw together information from numerous systems and sources, including an electronic incident log, phone system, GPS-capable radios, and criminal demographic data from the Office of National Statistics.
It will also be able to use the data to monitor trends of offenders across the county and see a live breakdown of crime statistics.
“With police budgets across the country under pressure, it’s vital that we look for every opportunity to operate more efficiently and use the latest data-driven tools in the fight against crime,” says Bob Keeble, continuous improvement manager, Gloucestershire Constabulary.
“To ensure that we focus on the issues that are most important to our residents, we need a breakdown of the locations and times when criminals are most likely to strike.”
He adds that the force also also wanted to gain a deeper understanding of long-term trends for serious offences, such as burglary and rape, to discover the influence of factors like seasonality. “This insight enables us to deploy our resources in the most effective way to prevent crimes, create awareness campaigns and protect residents."
The data analytics tools mean senior leaders can now view three-year trends per crime type, and gain crucial insight into trends and patterns.
Officers can also drill down into the data to monitor specific crime types on a postcode-by-postcode basis. This insight can then be used to inform the public about crime hotspots, such as spikes in burglaries, in a particular area.
SAS says other benefits include using data to build a co-ordinated media and policing strategy and enabling the force to manage officers’ workloads more effectively.
Staff training can also be better aligned to local needs, for example, ensuring that officers are trained to manage the rise in sexual offences and cyber crime.
“Our work with Gloucestershire Constabulary is already helping to tackle crime more effectively and get the most out of available resources,” says Charles Senabulya, VP and country manager at SAS UK & Ireland.
“Previously, preparing a single report would have taken Gloucestershire Constabulary one day. We have automated this process, enabling analysts to spend more time planning new dashboards to address existing and emerging needs.”
Senabulya says SAS and the constabulary are continuing to work together to explore new developments, such as how to enhance forecasting abilities and incorporate new sources of data, including information from body-worn cameras.