Columbia, South Carolina, Becomes the First in the South to Deploy PredPol’s Predictive Policing Technology

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Columbia, South Carolina has deployed an technology program that combines advanced mathematics with officer intuition to predict and prevent crime. The system, called PredPol, has successfully reduced crime in cities that have launched it in the USA and UK.

"This predictive policing software is going to take us to the next level when it comes to the absence of crime in this city," acting Columbia Police Chief Ruben Santiago.

Mayor Steve Benjamin and Police Chief Ruben Santiago of Columbia, South Carolina, announced their city will deploy software technology to predict and deter crime. South Carolina’s capitol city is partnering with PredPol, a Silicon Valley-based big data and predictive analytics venture that provides accurate, real-time crime predictions for use by patrol officers in cities large and small.

"This predictive policing software is going to take us to the next level when it comes to the absence of crime in this city," said acting Columbia Police Chief Ruben Santiago.

PredPol was created when police officers and crime analysts joined with top academics to find a better way to predict crime. After successful pilot deployments in 2011 in Los Angeles and Santa Cruz, California, PredPol began offering the technology to police agencies around the world. Only six months after launch, those first two cities enjoyed declines ranging from -12% to -25% in burglaries and auto thefts compared to the same period in the previous year. Since then, PredPol’s core technology has grown, to include prediction of drug crime, gang crime, and anti-social behavior.

This is the first deployment of PredPol’s affordable and easy-to-use prediction technology in the South, following on several dozen agencies in the western U.S. and overseas who have already seen significant effects on crime.

“We are always seeking ways to continue our recent success at reducing crime – in this case, preventing it before it happens with the latest in intelligent, computer-driven analysis. We owe it to Columbians and we owe it to the officers who patrol our streets,” said Mayor Steve Benjamin.

The crime prediction technology will be deployed in the next few weeks. Real results could be seen within a few months after Columbia’s officers begin using it.

“We are pleased to be working with Columbia’s leaders and its officers,” said Dr. Jeff Brantingham, co-founder of PredPol and a criminology expert at UCLA who worked most closely with the successful deployment in Los Angeles. “While no single strategy is the answer to crime, predictive policing gives officers a significantly better idea of when and where to be so that they can deter crime, sometimes even catching criminals in the act.”

Without predictive analytics, agencies are forced to chase yesterday's crime by relying on simple mapping of past crime data. These traditional mapping tools are calibrated less frequently, rely more on humans to recognize patterns, and allocate resources based on past crimes rather than predicted future offenses. To be clear, PredPol is not a replacement for the experience of veteran officers and crime analysts, but an easy-to-use enhancement that applies mathematical modeling and high-performance cloud computing.

About PredPol

A secure, cloud-based software as a service, PredPol’s tool was developed by a team of PhD mathematicians, criminologists, and social scientists at UCLA, Santa Clara University, and UC Irvine in close collaboration with crime analysts and line level officers at the Los Angeles and Santa Cruz Police Departments. It is deployed in dozens of cities around the United States, as well as the United Kingdom. For more information please visit

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