Evidence-based policing shows patterns, places officers in high-crime areas

This map shows where specific crimes have happened.

YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – It’s right out of a science-fiction movie. Police are solving crimes through new technology, and it’s being used in York.

Evidence-based policing helps to show patterns of crime. Police then putting more officers in those areas.

“I can identify certain areas that may have a cluster of actual specific crimes,” said Lt. Troy Bankert, with the York City Police Department.

York City Police now using the maps this year to plot where crimes have happened.

This map shows where specific crimes have happened.
This map shows where specific crimes have happened.

 

“The technology is telling me when and where they have occurred in the past to allow me to make somewhat of an accurate prediction of where it may occur in the future,” Bankert said.

“The most active time is Saturday between 6 and 9 a.m.,” Bankert said.

The maps and their data show patterns in the location, time, and type of crime, such as a home burglary or armed robbery.

“We’re saying, ‘I’m going to put this many officers on this detail at this time on this date at this location because I have evidence a crime may occur there because of a pattern,'” Bankert said.

The crime data automatically goes into the system and gives officers more time to patrol the streets.

“Now it’s easy, so not only I can use it, but other detectives can use it,” Bankert said.

Data shows the day, time, and types of crimes committed.
Data shows the day, time, and types of crimes committed.

 

The maps also help with offender based investigations where police catch multiple people based on similar crimes committed in similar ways.

“We have for many years believed that five to 10 percent of offenders commit up to 80 to 90 percent of the total crime,” Bankert said. “The philosophy is if you can concentrate on that group of individuals, then you can reduce crime significantly.”

The evidence-based policing is already working. Police caught burglary suspects in the act after seeing a pattern on one of their maps.

Police in York City aren’t the only Midstate agency using the technology. The Lower Paxton Police Department also uses maps to predict some crime patterns.

 

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