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Predictive Policing: The future of law enforcement

Updated: Mar 27, 2021

The era of predictive analytics has arrived. And it has the potential to equip police departments and citizens around the world with the intelligence they need to predict crime both in real time and in the future.

Thanks to everything from automatic license plate readers to gun sensors, the real-time data available to law enforcement agencies continues to skyrocket. And with Microsoft’s advanced analytics capabilities such as Microsoft Power BI, Microsoft Azure Stream Analytics, and Microsoft Azure Machine Learning (Azure ML), police departments now have the capability to predict when and where crimes will happen in the future. By building a crime analytics and predictions Power BI dashboard, law enforcement agencies can take advantage of predictive policing approaches to bring about safer cities.

Law enforcement agencies can use the Power BI dashboard to view the likelihood of crimes happening in various parts of Chicago based on different factors including the month, day, time of day, and traffic and weather patterns. By clicking on a map of the city, for example, police officers can see what crimes are most likely to happen by neighborhood at different times of the day and night. They can also see the predicted frequency of specific crimes, clicking on each type of crime to view where it’s likely to occur. In addition, police officers can use the dashboard to view historical crime trends, and compare these trends to what’s predicted for the future.

The dashboard has enormous implications for law enforcement. By assigning the appropriate number of police officers and needed resources at the right place at the right time, police departments can save millions of dollars. Moreover, they can arrive at the scene more prepared, better protecting themselves and their communities. They also have greater insight into why crimes occur in the first place, giving them the tools required to prevent crimes before they occur.

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