Gloucestershire Constabulary protects local communities with real-time insights from SAS

Ability to identify hotspots and trends allows police to prevent crime and respond rapidly

Gloucestershire Constabulary has employed analytics software from SAS to improve policing strategies, gain real-time insight into incidents, and identify crime hotspots. Serving 600,000 residents across the county and policing more than 1,000 square miles of urban centres and rural environments, Gloucestershire Constabulary wanted to gain an up-to-date picture of incidents across the county.

To create automated reports and present the data on a set of dashboards, the police force has turned to SAS to provide analytics solutions including SAS Visual Analytics and SAS Visual Statistics. It will now be able to draw together data from numerous systems and sources, including its electronic incident log, phone system, GPS-capable radios and criminal demographic data from the Office of National Statistics. Using analytics, it will also be able to use the data available to identify crime hotspots, monitor trends of offenders across the county and see a live breakdown of crime statistics.

“With police budgets across the country under pressure, it’s vital that we look for every opportunity to operate more efficiently and use the latest data-driven tools in the fight against crime,” said Bob Keeble, continuous improvement manager, Gloucestershire Constabulary. “To ensure that we focus on the issues that are most important to our residents, we need a breakdown of the locations and times when criminals are most likely to strike.

“We also wanted to gain a deeper understanding of long-term trends for serious offences, such as burglary and rape, to discover the influence of various factors, like seasonality. This insight enables us to deploy our resources in the most effective way to prevent crimes, create awareness campaigns and protect residents.”

Gloucestershire Constabulary selected SAS for its combination of real-time analytics and clear visualisation capabilities. The force will use the insights to improve accountability by providing crime maps and performance indicators for the public. It will also provide detailed crime reports to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary to ensure that resources are deployed where they are most needed to protect communities.

“The feedback from our officers has been excellent,” said Keeble. “They find the technology incredibly intuitive and simple to use. Our senior leaders can now view three-year trends per crime type, and gain crucial insight into trends and patterns. Meanwhile officers can drill down into the data to monitor specific crime types on a postcode-by-postcode basis. This insight can then be used to inform the public about crime hotspots, such as spikes in burglaries, in a particular area.”

Other benefits include using data to build a co-ordinated media and policing strategy and enabling the force to manage officers’ workloads more effectively. Staff training can also be better aligned to local needs, for example, ensuring that officers are trained to manage the rise in sexual offences and cybercrime.

“Our work with Gloucestershire Constabulary is already helping to tackle crime more effectively and get the most out of available resources,” said Charles Senabulya, VP & Country Manager at SAS UK & Ireland. “Previously, preparing a single report would have taken Gloucestershire Constabulary one day. We have automated this process, enabling analysts to spend more time planning new dashboards to address existing and emerging needs. As we continue to partner with them in the ongoing fight against crime, we are exploring new developments, such as how to enhance forecasting abilities and incorporate new sources of data – including information from body-worn cameras.”

For more on how SAS is working with Gloucestershire, read the full case study.

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