New Met system will target crime hot spots

Police plan new IT system as existing technology falters

Police plan new IT system as existing technology falters

Bill Goodwin

The Metropolitan Police will roll out a sophisticated crime analysis system as part of a new drive to crack down on villians in the capital.

The system, dubbed project Diane, will provide the Met with a daily analysis of shifting crime patterns that will identify crime hot spots within each London borough.

It will allow the Met to deploy officers where they are most needed and to target the most prevalent crimes.

"Analysts will be able to identify hot spots of crime where they deploy overt or covert officers more intelligently," said Phil Stoneman, the Met's technology business manager.

The heart of project Diane, which began two years ago, is a programme to bring together data from the Met's five legacy databases, some of which are 15 years old.

Although the Met keeps computer records of reported crimes, calls made from the public, criminal intelligence and custody records, until now there has been no easy way of collating the data together.

"At the moment analysts have to try to assemble the data themselves," said Stoneman. "Most of their time is spent trying to get the data together rather than analysing it."

The Met is using its in-house programmers to link the databases to workstations used by analysts in each London borough to investigate crime patterns and gather evidence during investigations.

The workstations will be fitted with i2's Analyst Workstation software, a suite of graphical crime analysis tools, data mining packages, and geographical mining software, that will highlight links between criminals, crimes and areas.

The Met plans to pilot the system for two months in Wandsworth and Plumstead, but is confident of winning funding for a London-wide roll-out in December. The roll-out will be managed by Sema, which provides outsourcing services to the Met.

Police five

Project Diane will collate data from five databases:

  • Crime Reporting Information System (Cris)

  • Computer Aided Dispatch Management Information System (Cadmis)

  • Criminal Intelligence (Crimint) database

  • Stop and search database

  • Custody database

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