Solutions company, ST Group has launched Pitney Bowes Business Insight’s MapInfo Crime Profiler, a fully automated crime analysis and visualisation solution for police forces and security companies, in order to assist in curbing the scourge of crime that has affected millions of South Africans, and continues to do so on a daily basis. ST Group is the preferred local partner for Pitney Bowes.

"From serious and violent crimes such as hi-jacking and armed robbery, to the so-called ‘white collar’ crimes of financial fraud in such sectors as banking, insurance and telecommunications, this type of misconduct can be not only very unpleasant and traumatic on a personal level, but is severely affecting the welfare of our economy, in already tight financial times," says Alan Ellis, CEO of ST Group. "Furthermore, critical issues such as public transport safety and crowd control at events have become increasingly important in South Africa, particularly as we are hosting globally high-profile events including the current Confederations Cup and the Soccer World Cup next year.
"MapInfo Crime Profiler is expected to play a major role in helping improve not only public safety and crowd management, but also policing effectiveness in South Africa," he states.
"As a result, we are now able to assist local authorities and the private sector to better understand and more effectively respond to the nature and scale of crime in their neighbourhoods and in their businesses."
In recent years, crime analysis and mapping has become an essential tool for effective law enforcement – not only to aid detection rates, but also to support operational efficiency and effectiveness, management reporting and other enterprise-wide tasks. Crime analysis is a profession dedicated to the identification of patterns, trends and problems in crime and disorder. It has become an increasingly important part of policing and crime prevention and thousands of specialist crime analysts are now employed by police forces worldwide.
Crime mapping tools that automate basic statistical processing tasks are essential to enable crime analysts to be able to provide critical support in investigations and operations. MapInfo Crime Profiler automates much of the statistical legwork behind crime analysis and visualisation, allowing users to perform sophisticated analyses more quickly and easily through an intuitive dashboard interface.
"MapInfo Crime Profiler introduces significant efficiency and capability gains for police forces across all their key areas of crime analysis and visualisation, including: crime pattern analysis; criminal networks; market and business profiles; offender risk analysis; intelligence assessments for individual operations; and law enforcement results analysis. This solution builds on proven foundations, as Pitney Bowes Business Insight solutions are already being used by many crime analysts across the world."
MapInfo Crime Profiler helps police forces get the right resources in the right place at the right time, aiding in the improvement of detection rates, minimising the number of victims of crime, reducing the fear of crime, protecting vulnerable people, managing risk and decreasing harm. The solution breaks new ground in providing ready-to-use crime analysis software components that save analysts’ time by making analysis tools available at one common point with one common format.
According to Ian Broadbent, strategic industry manager at Pitney Bowes Business Insight in the UK, automation is necessary to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of crucial analytical output.
"In its latest report on the use of geographical information in the public sector, the UK’s Department for Communities and Local Government highlighted the urgent need for automation to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of crucial analytical output. The report notes that current users of geographic information spend 80 percent of their time collating and managing the information and only 20 percent analysing it to solve problems and generate benefits. A tool such as MapInfo Crime Profiler will redress this imbalance," he adds.
Analysing patterns of crime from a wide variety of different perspectives helps to direct law enforcement efforts where they can be most effective. As these patterns are in a constant state of flux, the professional crime analyst often has to explore a number of different data combinations, scenarios and geographical aspects in order to provide law enforcement teams with the intelligence they need to be operationally effective.
"MapInfo Crime Profiler removes the need for analysts to devote a substantial proportion of their efforts to time-consuming statistical manipulation. Instead, these tasks are automated through a dashboard interface. Pilot studies have shown that analyst efficiency can be dramatically improved using MapInfo Crime Profiler," Ellis comments.
The new solution allows the analyst to choose from automated options that include:
* Multiple real-time hot-spotting options and kernel density visualisation;
* Integrated 3D imagery including CCTV footage;
* User-specified temporal analysis (contrasting day/night or other time profiles);
* Automatic graphing and mapping creation, linking and updates; and
* Automated data, table and workspace utilities.
Crime analyst training is made easier and quicker; as high analyst turnover rates are costly in terms of training and short-term resource pressures. Speedier response to operational requirements is enabled. Management and performance reporting is improved through consistency of output and better information sharing to help improve decision making.
Finally, MapInfo Crime Profiler provides an easily scalable platform to which new components can be added as new techniques are developed, as a police force’s enterprise needs grow and as budgets become available.
"The efficiency gains from using MapInfo Crime Profiler and its applications such as crime profiling, crowd control, public safety and transport control – particularly in relation to the FIFA World Cup in South Africa in 2010 – are very considerable. They free up our crime analysts to analyse and fight crime far more effectively and will also assist event planners, as well as local and national organisers and police forces, to better manage hugely important public and sporting events such as 2010. All these elements will contribute to a more economically successful, stable and crime-free South Africa," Ellis concludes.