Met Police trials analytics to fight gang crime

The Metropolitan Police is experimenting with analytics software to help predict which criminals are likely to re-offend

The Metropolitan Police has experimented with analytics software to help predict which criminals are likely to re-offend.

A 20-week pilot run by the Met Police and IT service provider Accenture used historical data on gang crime across London and predictive analysis software to work out the likelihood of an individual committing a crime again.

The pilot ran data related to all known gangs in London through Accenture analytics. It combined historic data from various crime reporting and criminal intelligence systems and applied predictive analytics to forecast the likelihood of known individuals committing violent crimes.

“The Met Police is keen to make smarter use of technology in the fight against crime, ensuring we are intelligence-led at all times,” said detective superintendent Tim Champion, of the force’s Trident Gang Crime Command.

Managing director of Accenture’s policing and public safety business James Slessor said the analytics project was the first of its kind in the UK where digital capabilities have been deployed to predict who is more likely to commit a violent crime.

Using technology to support frontline policing and reduce crime would be welcomed after a critical report in 2013 revealed crime rates in London are higher than they should be as a direct result of poor IT systems at the Met Police

The study by the London Assembly’s Budget and Performance Committee said the Met’s £250m IT budget goes on technology that is "out-of-date, ineffective and overly-expensive.” It said problems caused by poor IT include officers taking 30 minutes to log in to computers, and having to re-enter information into 10 different systems.

The report said the Met spends 85% of its IT budget on “keeping the lights on” for legacy technology that often dates back to the 1970s. 

The force has 750 separate systems, of which 70% are redundant – a figure expected to rise to 90% by 2015 – at a time when budget cuts mean IT spending has to be reduced by £60m within three years.

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