Yes, that’s right. Crime Analytics. Why not? After all, it’d be so great to have a system that predicts crimes-to-occur at a given place and given time, so that the criminals can be caught red-handed even before they start on it. If you think you’re the first person to come up with this brilliant idea, then you’re wrong. Yes, there are policing organisations already existing that make intense use of data analytics to catch criminals and control crime-rates. A closer home example would be the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) of India.
These organisations mostly make use of the large database of all sorts of information regarding past crimes and criminals. The data are mostly regarding the venue, time, circumstance, motive, economic and political factors etc. It is often seen that these data follow some pattern. Based on these patterns, it is quite easy to forecast the details of possible future crimes with the help of any predictive analytics software. The more the variations in the factors behind the crimes can be captured, the more accurate will be the forecasts. That’s because each and every factor has its own repercussions.
For example, it has been observed that criminals tend to commit crime near the places where they had previously committed the same crimes, without getting caught. This action has got to do with their belief that it is their “safe place”. So, based on this tendency, police forces can be stationed at these crime-intensive areas in order to catch the criminals. Perhaps the places can’t be pin-pointed accurately, but atleast the zone and the time frame of the crime can be gauged. But, then again, not all crimes follow a pattern. And, that’s where the limitation of analytics comes.
Ritesh Mohan Srivastava of Analytics India Magazine writes, “NCRB is now using GIS based analytics services to predict and curb the crime rates. It has its very own fingerprints, sketches and all other sorts of database, including Prison statistics. Now prison statistics can be used very useful, it can give the investigators an idea of prison inmates, who are more likely to “churn” after completing their time inside, on the contrary it can recognize patterns of good behaviour too, and that can help in judicial decision making process. After all it’s all about eradicating crime and not the criminals.”
In a few crime-prone cities and districts, it has been seen that after the implementation of Predictive Analytics, the crime rates have fallen by 10 to 30 percent. Now, with the help of more improved tools and techniques, it is hoped that through proper implementation of Predictive Analytics, the crime rate shall be reduced by around 50% all over the world in the coming decade. Hence, not only the super-heroes, common human beings like us can also save the world from doom.