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UK's Met Police pilots analytics tool to fight gang crime

Charlotte Jee | Oct. 29, 2014
Trial with Accenture pooled data from systems to identify gang members likely to commit violence crime

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has completed a 20-week pilot with Accenture to identify gang members likely to reoffend and commit violent crimes.

The trial merged data from the Met's various crime reporting and intelligence systems and applied predictive analytics, generating risk scores on the likelihood of known individuals committing violent crimes.

The project was delivered by Accenture Analytics, a unit of the firm which provides consulting and outsourcing services on areas such as digital marketing, mobility and analytics.

The Met's 'Trident Gang Crime Command', a unit responsible for tackling gang violence and investigating non-fatal shootings in London, led the project, which targeted individuals across known gangs in all 32 London boroughs.

Accenture claimed the pilot is the first in the UK to use analytics to calculate who is more likely to commit a violent crime, and said it will help the Met to reduce gang-related offences.

ComputerworldUK asked the MPS how it is acting on information from the tool, if it will be used in future and whether the data generated has helped to make arrests but is yet to receive a response.

Georgina O'Toole, director at analyst house TechMarketView, said: "The latest buzz phrase in the police sector is 'predictive policing' i.e. understanding where, who and when in relation to a potential crime. Analytics gives police a greater chance of achieving this."

She added: "We are seeing an increasing interest in SMAC (social media, mobile, analytics and cloud) technologies within the police sector."

However O'Toole warned that police forces have historically struggled to make the most of their technology, often due to a failure to transform processes and organisational structure.

Earlier this year West Midlands Police awarded Accenture a five-year, £25 million deal to find efficiencies and help improve its use of technology.

The company also signed a £39 million 10-year contract with Police Scotland in July 2013 to replace more than 120 IT and paper-based systems with a new single policing system dubbed 'i6'.

However just a month later the two parties entered into an eight-month dispute over differing interpretations of what the contract required Accenture to deliver.

In April Police Scotland's deputy chief constable Neil Richardson said that the issue had been resolved after "lengthy negotiations" with Accenture to produce an update contract with a "revised delivery and milestone plan".

Tim Godwin, previously deputy commissioner at the MPS, joined Accenture in January 2012 to help drive its police consultancy business. His LinkedIn profile describes him as managing director of defence and public safety at Accenture.

 

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