High crime rates are the nightmare of any city. In 2014, the police in Prince George County, Md. faced this problem. The county was experiencing an alarming increase in armed robberies of commercial establishments. This is a considerable problem for the county and alarming for the safety of the population.
The Response to Increased Crime in Maryland
The police decided to approach this problem with a different method. To respond to the increased crime rates in Maryland, the police made use of crime data. With the use of data from the crimes and the willingness to set aggressive goals, the police proved the ability to be successful in fighting crime.
The police in Washington, D.C, suburb went on to analyze the crime activity. When analyzing all the crime activity it pointed out that there were 52 more commercial armed robberies than during the same date in 2013. In fact, this was an alarming discovery.
With the use of this data, the police were able to see where and when these crimes occurred. During the fall of 2014, the police were ready to implement a commercial robbery reduction plan. The plan was known as ¨1828¨, the name of the operation came due to the fact that it would take place between Oct.18 and Nov.28. This time was chosen in particular as the robbery rates were very high during this period in the previous year.
The 1828 Commercial Robbery Reduction Plan
The goal behind the 1828 plan, was to cut the 55 commercial armed robberies occurred in the previous between Oct.18 and Nov.28 2013. In fact, this plan had an aggressive goal of cutting it down to 27. The goal might have been aggressive, but it was not unrealistic. By the end of the year, the police hoped to bring the overall annual increase in robberies from 52 to zero.
To achieve this ambitions goal, the police had to analyze crime data and identify nine business corridors where robberies concentrated. Furthermore, they also went to 11 7-eleven convenience stores. The purpose behind this was to get insight on the corridors that were most likely to be targeted. After collecting this information, the police went further in the data collection. This gave them insight that Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays were the nights that robberies were most likely to occur.
With the collected data, the police deployed personnel based on the times and places where there was an increased possibility of robberies to occur. Obviously, they took more measures. The police also put message boards on roadways in the targeted areas. Furthermore, this message boards informed motorists that there was a police operation going on. This also warned potential criminals, making them more aware of the increased danger.
In addition to this measures, the police also occasionally parked unoccupied police cars outside 7-eleven stores and moved them regularly.
The Results Achieved with the Robbery Reduction Plan
At the end of 1828 plan, on Nov.28 the police had not been able to achieve their initial goal. Nevertheless, they had been successful in reducing commercial robbery crime rates. In fact, the police had managed to achieve a 40% decrease. So, it decreased from 55 to 33 robberies.
Likewise, the total robberies didn’t fall back to the same levels as at the end of 2013. At the end of 2014, the police had been able to reduce annual commercial robberies from 52 to 11.
Despite the fact, that the police in Maryland was not able to achieve its initial goals the plan was still very successful. The police were able to significantly reduce the commercial robbery crime rates. In fact, this case just shows how the use of data can be valuable for different purposes. Due to the use of data and the right forms of analysing it, the police was able to improve safety.