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Survey Results Suggest Limited Budgets Slow Law Enforcement's Adoption of Crime-Fighting Software

October 24, 2014  | 

When it comes to the U.S. law enforcement community’s practices and attitudes toward using crime-fighting software, roughly a third are using the technology in their departments, most would use it to combat drug-related crimes, yet the majority don’t have the budget to implement it, according to a recent survey by Wynyard Group, market leader in crime-fighting software used in investigations and intelligence operations by government agencies and financial organizations.

When Wynyard asked nearly 300 police chiefs, federal investigators, analysts, and other high-ranking law enforcement officials if they were using crime-fighting software, only 35 percent said yes; of those departments that were using crime-fighting software, 63 percent were using it to fight drug-related crimes. In the departments that were not using crime-fighting software, 70 percent said they would use it to fight drug crimes if they had it. Nearly half of all respondents said that limited budgets are the greatest impediment to deploying software for crime-fighting.

Still, more than 90 percent of survey respondents indicated that they believe crime-fighting software and “advanced crime analytics” will become the industry norm in the future. Slightly more than half are already making plans to incorporate such technology into their local police departments.

If given the choice of where to allocate available funds, 37 percent said they would use it for crime-fighting software, while only nine percent said they would use it for new weapons. The top three software-related benefits most important to respondents are: better, faster discovery of relationships between data entities such as crime reports, suspects, addresses, vehicles, phones, guns, and events; being able to solve crimes faster; and being able to make better use of mobile phone data, emails, social media history and other data in investigations.

“Our findings suggest that, while the law enforcement community recognizes the power and the value of crime-fighting software and analytics in making our communities safer, we have a ways to go before use is widespread,” says Jeff C. Frazier, senior vice president Americas for Wynyard Group. “The perception is that this technology is too expensive and too complicated, when in fact there are affordable options that are fast to deploy, easy to use, and provide valuable insights very quickly. There’s no reason most law enforcement departments in the U.S. shouldn’t have this technology.”

More than 90 percent of respondents believe that crime-fighting software and “advanced crime analytics” will become the industry norm in the near future, while more than half are already making plans to incorporate such technology into their local police departments. The top capability that would be most valuable to agencies in their evaluation of or choice of analytics software is predictive analytics – for predicting crime hotspots, persons of interest likely to commit crimes, peak crimes, and more. In addition to combating drug crimes better, departments – if they had analytics software - would use it mainly to fight fraud and financial crime, robbery, and gang violence.

The Wynyard Group Advanced Crime Analytics Survey was conducted during September and October 2014. Further report information including an infographic of the Wynyard Group Advanced Crime Analytics Survey is available at: https://www.wynyardgroup.com/en/news-events-blog/wynyard-group-crime-fighting-software-survey/


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