Sunday, March 11, 2012


Crime is dynamic. The hooligans of yesteryears used techniques that would be anathema to the hooligan of today. This dynamism is also reflected in the crime detection and investigation methods that are used by the police. This means that police forces are recognizing that use of modern techniques in combating crime is important and technology is at the top of the list.

Analyzing data to enhance security goes a long way in preventing crime. Police forces all over the world are appreciating that analysis of stored data, together with real-time data gathered from the field, can greatly reduce incidences of crime. The Kenya Police should not be an exception.

Data analysis combines various techniques such as data mining, predictive analytics, business intelligence and trend analysis.

One area in which data analytics can be used is in pinpointing crime. By using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in combination with software that can analyze criminal behavioral patterns, it is possible to determine when and where crime is most likely to take place.

The police are subsequently able to make informed decisions on where to deploy resources such as plainclothes police personnel. This type of smart deployment means that more efficient usage of limited resources is possible.

Another area data analytics can be effectively used is in accident prevention. Web-based CCTV data can help determine accident black spots. For instance when an accident occurs this data is stored in a server. The analytic software will then be able to collate the current accident data with historical data.

If historical data indicates a trend of accidents in the same spot then these areas can be marked as certain black spots. Most black spots are rarely permanent. Identifying these constantly shifting black spots is possible with analytical software.

Improved control is another area the police can apply data analytics. Large gatherings of people in various events such as national days, football matches or musical concerts require smart crowd control management.

By using live CCTV imagery/data and comparing it with past event data, the police are better positioned to deploy appropriate resources to ensure the public is monitored and kept safe. An absence of this analysis results in an unprepared response to crowd unrest as witnessed in the recent football crowd tragedy in Port Said, Egypt.

The use of data-analytics by the Police brings about clear benefits such as preventive crime control and better allocation of resources.

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