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Smart policing: How Big Data got big results for Vancouver

Submitted by jesse_berst on September 11, 2013

Property crime down 24%. Violent crime down 9%. Those reductions came as a result of the Vancouver PD's gradual adoption of analytics-led policing starting in 2008. Nor are such results unusual -- I hear similar numbers from police departments all over the world once they implement smart policing.

This article from Government Technology begins with an apt warning about the challenges of adopting analytics, but it spends most of its time explaining how Vancouver overcame them to achieve an "analytics culture." Any city that is thinking about Big Data for its police force will profit from these lessons learned. -- Jesse Berst

 Using technology from Smart Cities Council Lead Partner IBM and Esri, the Vancouver Police Department developed a crime and intelligence analysis system called Consolidated Records Intelligence Mining Environment (CRIME). The goal was to bring data that had been siloed in disparate systems into a common data repository to make it possible to mine and analyze it to identify trends and crime patterns.

The system has been useful in helping the Vancouver PD identify crime hot spots, which means it can allocate resources more effectively, preventing crime before it occurs. You can read some of the department's success stories in the Government Technology article written by Ryan Prox, who is Vancouver PD's Special Constable and Analytic Services Coordinator.


Jesse Berst is the founding Chairman of the Smart Cities Council. Click to subscribe to SmartCitiesNow, the weekly newsletter highlighting smart city trends, technologies and techniques.