Santa Cruz, CA (PRWEB) July 25, 2013 -- PredPol, the Predictive Policing Company, has developed and is deploying first-of-its-kind technology to help police predict and deter gun violence.
“We are pleased to be working with innovative leaders in our partner cities,” said Dr. George Mohler, PredPol co-founder and professor of mathematics and computer science at Santa Clara University. “While no single strategy can end gun violence, predictive policing gives officers a significantly better idea of when and where to be so that they can deter crime generally, and gun violence in particular. If we can prevent just one gun crime, that will mean one less neighbor, friend, or family member who becomes a victim.”
PredPol’s unique gun violence prediction methodology leverages existing crime data that every city already has, advanced mathematics developed over more than six years, computer learning, cloud computing, and the indispensable experience of veteran police. The crime data is analyzed through a sophisticated algorithm that applies proven criminal theories about crime in general and gun violence in particular. The results are more accurate and more actionable recommendations for when and where gun violence is most likely to occur, thus allowing police to show up before crime happens.
One key element of the gun violence methodology uses so-called precursor crimes to best determine where and when future violence will happen. Specifically, and perhaps surprisingly, past homicides are not necessarily the best predictors of future homicides. The occurrence of incidents like weapons violations, assaults, and batteries provide as much or more information about where and when future homicides are most likely to occur. In a manner similar to ‘broken-windows’ policing, targeting these precursor crimes can have a significant impact on gun homicide and ultimately on crime reduction.
PredPol has extensively modeled this new approach to deterring gun violence, predicting a greater number of gun homicides compared with existing approaches, including traditional hotspot maps. PredPol successfully outperforms current best practices by 66%.
This corresponds with even stronger performance that police agencies have seen with PredPol’s broader technology for predicting and preventing other violent crimes and property offenses. In deployments to patrol officers in cities like Los Angeles and Kent, England, PredPol’s predictions not only reduced crime but were 100% more accurate than existing best practices – predicting double the number of crimes as current crime mapping and hotspot analysis.
PredPol has already deployed its broad crime prediction tool for less violent crimes and for property offenses in cities like Los Angeles and Santa Cruz in California, South Carolina’s capital city of Columbia, Seattle and Tacoma in Washington, and in Kent, England. The gun violence prediction technology is part of this broader predictive policing technology package.
“We understand the challenges faced by city leaders and law enforcement and created this technology with police to help them do more with less,” said Dr. Jeff Brantingham, co-founder of PredPol and a criminology expert at UCLA. “Affordable, easy to use technologies allow police who have tight budgets and limited hiring ability to better direct the patrol resources they have.”
Without predictive analytics, police are forced to chase yesterday's crime by relying on simple mapping of past crime data. It would be like forecasting the weather using only historical weather patterns, but ignoring weather radar. Traditional crime 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. PredPol does not replace the insights of veteran officers and crime analysts, but delivers an easy-to-use enhancement that lets police do more with their current resources.
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. Just six months after launch, those first two cities saw crime reductions of 12% to 25% in burglaries and auto thefts compared to the previous year.
After successful initial deployments in 2011 in Los Angeles and Santa Cruz, PredPol has deployed its groundbreaking technology in dozens of cities around the United States as well as the United Kingdom. PredPol’s core technology has grown from success with property crimes to include prediction of drug crime, gang crime, anti-social behavior, and now gun violence.
PredPol Media, PredPol, http://www.predpol.com, 8313314550, [email protected]