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Prediction-Led Policing Process and Prevention Methods

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5 March 2014


Summary

  • Article Source: Walter L. Perry, Brian McInnis, Carter C. Price, Susan C. Smith, John S. Hollywood, Predictive Policing; The Role of Crime Forecasting in Law Enforcement Operations, 2013 [1].

Prediction-Led Policing Process and Prevention Methods

Making “predictions” is only half of prediction-led policing; the other half is carrying out interventions, acting on the predictions that lead to reduced crime (or at least solve crimes). What we have found in this study is that predictive policing is best thought of as part of a comprehensive business process. That process is summarized in Figure S.1. We also identified some emerging practices for running this business process successfully through a series of discussions with leading predictive policing practitioners.

Table S.4

At the core of the process shown in Figure S.1 is a four-step cycle (top of figure). The first two steps are collecting and analyzing crime, incident, and offender data to produce predictions. Data from disparate sources in the community require some form of data fusion. Efforts to combine these data are often far from easy, however.

The third step is conducting police operations that intervene against the predicted crime (or help solve past crimes). The type of intervention will vary with the situation and the department charged with intervening. Figure S.1 shows three broad types of interventions (lower right of figure). They are, from simplest to most complicated, generic intervention, crime-specific intervention, and problem-specific intervention. In general, we hypothesize that the more complicated interventions will require more resources, but they will be better tailored to the actual crime problems—and get better results. Regardless of the type of intervention, those carrying it out need information to execute the intervention successfully. Thus, providing information that fills the need for situational awareness among officers and staff is a critical part of any intervention plan.

The interventions lead to a criminal response that ideally reduces or solves crime (the fourth step). In the short term, an agency needs to do rapid assessments to ensure that the interventions are being implemented properly and that there are no immediately visible problems. The longer-term criminal response is measured through changes in the collected data, which, in turn, drives additional analysis and modified operations, and the cycle repeats.

References

[1] Walter L. Perry, Brian McInnis, Carter C. Price, Susan C. Smith, John S. Hollywood, Predictive Policing; The Role of Crime Forecasting in Law Enforcement Operations, 2013.


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