The news outlet SanJose.com had this piece that is worth reading about the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office use of predictive policing to help reduce crime in their jurisdiction. From the piece:
“The most common time [vehicle and residential] crimes were occurring were Tuesdays and Thursdays between 5pm and 8pm,” says Damon, who works out of a sheriff’s office substation in Cupertino. “We put together hot spots and victim profiles to give officers an idea what to look for. In May of 2010, we started seeing a significant decrease. It was pretty immediate once we got our patrol units in the right place at the right time.”
As a result, from 2010 to 2011, property crimes in the West Valley patrol area for the sheriff’s office—Cupertino, Saratoga, Los Altos and unincorporated zones that include parts of Los Gatos—dropped 23 percent, according to Damon.Santa Clara SO's program demonstrates the potential that predictive policing has in combating property crimes. Of course, I'm really interested in seeing the methodology used by these various programs. Some of them are pretty sophisticated. Others might be using simple statistics to calculate days between hits and the likely times of occurrence along with a hotspot map of recent crimes and a bit of analyst's intuition.
No matter how you get to it, if you can provide your officers with a place to be and some times to be there you can help them be more efficient about driving crime down in the community.
Is your agency interested in predictive policing? What would it take for you to bring this to your agency?