How Big Data Is Helping Law Enforcement

June 9, 2015
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Big Data is essentially the gathering of information from varied sources that can be studied to determine future patterns. Many companies and advertisers use this information to target customers. Big Data is no longer just for monitoring your business’ outreach and market impact. Big Data brings real time monitoring of important trends in data that can help make our streets a safer place. Big Data can also provide the clue that leads to a breakthrough in that tough case. It can prevent new cases, and work to determine where the next crime will occur.

Big Data is essentially the gathering of information from varied sources that can be studied to determine future patterns. Many companies and advertisers use this information to target customers. Big Data is no longer just for monitoring your business’ outreach and market impact. Big Data brings real time monitoring of important trends in data that can help make our streets a safer place. Big Data can also provide the clue that leads to a breakthrough in that tough case. It can prevent new cases, and work to determine where the next crime will occur. Below are a few big ways that Big Data is affecting law enforcement agencies around the country.

 

Crime Analysis

The role of a crime analyst in law enforcement can often be overlooked in pursuit of the big picture, but with the massive growth of Big Data, their role has become exponentially more important. A crime analyst uses technology to learn about patterns in crime, trends in social media that relate to crime, and then uses all of this information to determine where and when a crime is likely to occur. They have to sift through tons and tons of data every day such as posts, audio logs, and video transcripts; and with the growth of Big Data they can be quickly overwhelmed. Law enforcement agencies are almost always looking for skilled workers in this field. It is looking as if the balance of law enforcement may begin to rely more on advanced technology and Big Data as years go on.

 

Prevention

Law enforcement is all about reaction and prevention. If a crime can’t be prevented, then a force moves out to fix it. Now, with Big Data, law enforcement agencies are better able to prevent crime, and that leads to less lives lost. There are tools that law enforcement agencies use that track trends in social media, patterns in crime within an area, and even technology that lets them locate the exact location of a potential criminal. Sounds a lot like technology from a sci-fi movie, but this is most certainly real and it is being used by just about every law enforcement agency out there. With this technology that uses Big Data, it makes it easier for them to trace criminals and potential offenders and stop them from committing serious offenses.

Understanding

Not only is this helping law enforcement agencies provide better prevention techniques, but it is also greatly expanding our knowledge of crime and crime patterns. With this new technology, we are discovering the underlying factors to what exactly contributes to crime. With more in depth data analysis, we are able to predict when and why a certain crime will happen. This can lead to our law enforcement practices to be much more proactive. This is still just the beginning, there is a long road to go before big changes will begin to happen. With this explosion of new technology and Big Data, I have no doubt that we will be seeing a drastic change in how crime is handled in the near future.