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A comparison of law enforcement’s two leading crime analysis tools

For the past 20 years, Hot Spots have been the predominant tool for crime analysis, used by law enforcement agencies to show both the density and intensity of crimes in a given location. Hot Spots conveniently summarize areas of concern and the types of incidents that occur in that vicinity.

That said, Hot Spots have some deficiencies. As a heavily relied-upon crime prediction tool for directed patrols, they fail to take into account crime trends, crime interactions, and timing.  Furthermore, with the continued challenge of limited—if not declining—resources, Predictive Analytics can help agencies better leverage their assets, providing both time- and location-directed predictions for an overall more accurate and efficient tool.

What is Predictive Analytics?

Predictive Analytics has influenced many commercial industries, and promises to do the same for public safety. It uses advanced mathematical modeling to help predict future behaviour, and is successfully used by many organizations to be more effective.

Today’s law enforcement agencies are eager to understand how Predictive Analytics can be used to help prevent and reduce crime, and whether “Big Data” analysis can help their agencies prevent and reduce crime within the constraints of existing resources.

Predictive Analytics is more than just another way of analyzing data—it is a method to make an agency more accurate and efficient in how and where it deploys its greatest resource: patrol officers. Furthermore, it promises to provide a significant step forward with analytics that bridge the gap between the data and the officers in the street. It makes them more efficient by placing officers in specific areas where crime is likely to occur.

To compare the level of accuracy and efficiency of Predictive Analytics vs. traditional Hot Spots, Motorola Solutions conducted a field test using actual crime data from two different cities over 100 days.

The study provided conclusive results that the Predictive Analytics from CommandCentral Predictive is 2.7 to 3.25 times more accuratethan traditional Hot Spots. In addition, Predictive Analytics is 3.2 to 4 times more efficientthan Hot Spots, resulting in less area that officers are required to cover in order to achieve better results in preventing crime.

General conclusions drawn from the study:
  • While Hot Spots have been—and will continue to be—a valuable tool for law enforcement agencies, it is increasingly recognized that Hot Spots are limited in their ability to provide more than a general overview of the types and intensity of crimes that are happening in a given area. Typically, they are useful for prioritizing areas, CompStat discussion, and monitoring general activity.
  • Hot Spots have severe limitations in providing correct information that is both accurate and efficient. Specifically, Hot Spots fail to take into account longer, historical trends, probability analysis, and rigorous quantification of the interactions between crimes that are required to make more than generalizations about the types and density of crimes.
  • By contrast, Predictive Analytics provides a deeper perspective on crime analysis that optimizes both efficiency and accuracy. Rather than providing sweeping summaries of past crimes, Predictive Analytics provides highly targeted forecasts of future crime based on four key elements: locations, time of crime, historical crime patterns and interaction of crimes.
Download a free report customized to your city

Receive all the information you need to measurably reduce crime in your area using Predictive Analytics. Click on the following link to request Motorola’s free report, The Predictive Crime Analytics and Agency Assessment. 

 The report highlights:

Trends: Receive a detailed overview of FBI Part 1 crimes specific to your jurisdiction, including a trend analysis of your RMS data, for a clearer picture of which crime types are statistically on the rise.

Crime reduction forecasts: Process your crime data through our Predictive Analytics engine to better target problem areas with actionable predictions.

Budget saving estimates: View a cost-benefit analysis of implementing predictive analytics in your agency for more informed decision making.

For more information on Motorola Solutions and Predictive Analytics, visit: www.motorolasolutions.com/spss.

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