Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Predicting crime with big data, affordably

Date:
January 10, 2014
Source:
Rutgers, State University of New Jersey Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Devel
Summary:
Research has resulted in commercial technology that public safety practitioners and researchers worldwide are using to fight crime. It is being offered free of charge to law enforcement agencies.

Risk Terrain Modeling map of a township showing high-risk and low-risk areas.
Credit: Image courtesy of Rutgers, State University of New Jersey Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development

Research at Rutgers' School of Criminal Justice has resulted in commercial technology that public safety practitioners and researchers worldwide are using to fight crime. It is being offered free of charge to law enforcement agencies and will be presented tomorrow (Jan. 14) at the second annual "Safety Datapalooza," sponsored by The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Leslie Kennedy and Joel Caplan of Rutgers invented a technique that uses crime data to identify and map environmental attractors of crime. Called Risk Terrain Modeling (RTM), the spatial risk analysis technique takes crime data for a specific locale along with other data about the physical environment and forecasts where new crime incidents are likely to emerge and cluster. That information helps law enforcement agencies strategically allocate resources.

To make RTM more accessible to public safety professionals, Rutgers' School of Criminal Justice developed the Risk Terrain Modeling Diagnostics Utility, a software app that automates the steps of RTM. The product is bundled with affordable training or provided at no cost to practitioners who use it to diagnose spatial crime vulnerabilities and predict new crime locations. RTM is currently used by hundreds of U.S. crime analysts. The RTMDx™ Utility will bring expert knowledge and advanced technology to thousands more public safety professionals without requiring a major investment in time or money.

"Crime hotspots tell you where to go, but not what to do when you get there," said Kennedy, University Professor of Criminal Justice and director of the Rutgers Center on Public Security. "As symptoms of risky places, mapping recent crime yields valuable information, but not the complete picture of a problem place. Our system lets police prioritize risky places before crimes emerge and thoughtfully implement risk-mitigation activities. It's crime forecasting with a focus on places, not people."

"Police officers have described the feeling of playing whack-a-mole," said Caplan, assistant professor of Criminal Justice and associate director of Rutgers' Center on Public Security. "They identify crime hotspots and deploy resources there to deter illegal activity, only to have it pop up somewhere else or return to the same place once police leave. Hotspots tend to be quite resilient, not because police aren't effective, but because the environments that make certain places suitable for crimes don't change much over time. They remain attractive illegal behavior settings, so illegal behavior returns."

Risk Terrain Modeling "paints a picture" of physical features within municipalities that are attractive for certain types of illegal behavior, and in doing so, allows police to assign probabilities of crime occurring at certain places where many risk factors coexist, such as the stereotypical dead-ended remote alleyway with poor lighting.

"Some areas are less clichι or obvious, but just as risky and likely to experience lots of crimes," Caplan said. RTM examines the features of places that contribute to crime concentration. The RTMDx Utility standardizes the process of RTM and makes it more accessible to public safety professionals in both large and small departments.

The National Institute of Justice recently awarded two grants, totaling nearly $1 million, to conduct RTM research in seven U.S. cities: Newark; New York City; Chicago; Arlington, Texas; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Glendale, Ariz.; and Kansas City, Mo. Researchers from Rutgers' School of Criminal Justice and John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York are conducting the studies using the RTMDx Utility. The Rutgers software is currently being used in the top four U.S. markets: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami. It is being adopted by industry and law enforcement offices in many countries, such as Australia and Canada, and major foreign cities such as Paris and Milan.

Kennedy and Caplan will present RTM and the RTMDx Utility at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy "Safety Datapalooza" Jan. 14.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rutgers, State University of New Jersey Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Devel. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rutgers, State University of New Jersey Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Devel. "Predicting crime with big data, affordably." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140110142212.htm>.
Rutgers, State University of New Jersey Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Devel. (2014, January 10). Predicting crime with big data, affordably. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140110142212.htm
Rutgers, State University of New Jersey Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Devel. "Predicting crime with big data, affordably." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140110142212.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) — The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) — With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) — British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) — Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:  

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile iPhone Android Web
    Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins