When crime-fighting software provider Wynyard Group surveyed U.S. law enforcement officials on their use of crime analytics software, 88 percent of respondents felt that intelligence-led law enforcement coupled with the use of data analytics has significant potential to help law enforcement be more effective and efficient.
While law enforcement agencies are having success using crime-fighting software to solve crimes faster, the survey shows the majority are still policing using the same techniques that have been in practice for decades.
Ninety-three percent of respondents said they saw crime analytic software becoming more widely used in the near future, but only 34 percent said they are currently using this software, roughly the same as last year. When asked why crime fighting software adoption rates are not higher, a lack of budget was given as the top reason (66%).
Derek Brown, Vice President Americas at Wynyard Group, said: "This is a tumultuous time for the law enforcement community as criminals are making increased use of technology to enable and accelerate their activity. Law enforcement resources are stretched thin, both in terms of budget and manpower and there is a continual push to do more with less."
"The survey data clearly shows that law enforcement believes analytics and intelligence-led policing can do that."
The Second Annual Wynyard Advanced Crime Analytics Survey of nearly 450 police chiefs, federal investigators, analysts, and other law enforcement officials found that of those departments using some form of technology to fight crime, 77 percent are analyzing social media for intelligence to fight crime while nearly 60 percent are analyzing social networks to uncover gang activity.
Brown continues, "Increasingly, we hear of the ways that criminals and gangs utilize social media to carry out and even publicize their criminal activity. This provides a valuable source of digital intelligence that can be combined with other lawfully gathered information from call records, emails, and investigative reports. This can then be analyzed using crime analytics software to make connections between seemingly unconnected pieces of data, and quickly uncover relationships that may otherwise be missed."
For those currently using crime analytics, the largest number of responders (nearly 30 percent) said they using it to fight drug-related crime, while the software is also used to fight: gang violence and crime (25 percent), gun related (20 percent), fraud and financial crime (18 percent), sex crimes (17 percent), homicide (17 percent), organized crime (12 percent), and human trafficking (10 percent).
Among those law enforcement agencies not using crime fighting software, over half said they would use advanced crime analytics to fight drug crimes if they had the technology. Nearly 40 percent said they would use it specifically to investigate fraud and financial crime.
Survey respondents also indicated that they would prefer allocating funds to crime fighting software rather than body cameras, if given a choice.
Brown concludes, "The potential for police to use data and technology to improve their effectiveness is one of the most significant developments in law enforcement today. The challenge therefore lies with law enforcement partners to provide solutions that are easy to use and are highly effective in helping solve crimes."
The Second Annual Wynyard Group Advanced Crime Analytics Survey was conducted during September 2015 and released at IACP 2015, the 122nd annual conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Further report information, including an infographic of the Second Annual Wynyard Group Advanced Crime Analytics Survey, is available on the Wynyard Group website.
Wynyard Group creates crime fighting software used by customers in government security, justice, law enforcement, financial services, and critical national infrastructure.
Its advanced crime analytics and investigations case management products help customers prevent and solve serious financial crime, organized and trans-national crime, and new generation threats from extremism and high consequence cybercrime.
Wynyard partners with major systems integrators and some of the world's leading software companies and has operations in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Middle East, Australia, and New Zealand.
For more information visit www.wynyardgroup.com