Predicting Policing

Student Name

Information Technology




Question 1: Answer

Predictive Policing is an effective solution to crime fighting compared to random patrols in the Police Forces. Because it is a GIS system, COMPSTAT is a real time system, able to provide information on the spot, whenever they are required. It means that police patrols do not depend on trial and error, but focus all their efforts to a particular location. In fact, it is able to prevent crime before it takes place because it uses predictive indicators to crime and interprets to potentiality of crime occurrence. Unlike in the ordinary patrols where police officers only begin investigation after crime has been committed, information system uses intelligence not only to investigate crime but also to study incidents leading to possible crime. While the former is reactive to crime situations, the later is a proactive approach to crime mitigation.

Even so, IT may not be able to mitigate all manner of crimes considering that certain crimes are able to hide away from the reach of the GIS system. This is the cause of usage of random patrols despite the massive knowledge about Information technology and its contribution to the management of crime. A good example is con activities and forgeries where criminals use diplomatic and intelligent approaches without violence. The GIS imaging system may not be able to capture and interpret non-violent images as being crime related. Additionally, the information System may not be very accurate because some of the crime indicators can be because of misinterpretation of events. For example, any slight commotion could be misinterpreted as crime. The definition of crime in the information system is very critical in the.

Question 2: Answer

COMPSTAT implements the four basic functions of an information System, including input, Processing, Output and feedback.


COMPSTAT receives inputs from historical records of crime. They also use data mining systems and intelligent agents from the internet. The system receives images and other multimedia information from social media. Other very important source of information are strategically placed Closed Circuit TVs (CCTVs) whose images are interpreted to predict crime. The system places all data into a common database and uses intelligent modules to interpret the data to meaningful information that prompts police action. This is an advantage, the fact that data inputs are live and instant. In the modern days, it also receive information from mobile phone users who send information on suspected crime plans.


The system uses special algorithms to operate statistical functions that are able to analyze the data and generate reports. It then prompts the decision support system to present the reports with relevant actions to be taken. Each of the statistical functions apply to specific data types available, whether graphics or text or any other form of data. The statistical functions decide on the media in which the output should come.


After the statistical analysis, COMPSTAT presents the results in human language and cognizable images, which are easy to interpret. It uses high level of intelligence to present virtual reality. The images it presents are real time because the processing takes very short time. It advises on the nature of crime and the necessary preparation required for managing the crime. Data output is also multimedia, in form of graphics, numbers and text.


After the police forces have acted at the crime scene, COMPSTAT system records the actions as intervention. It therefore provides the results of the police actions, whether it was successful or not, in combating the crime. The feedback mechanism alerts the police stations about the events and updates the crime records up to the effective date of the crime.

Question 3: Answer

Information Systems allow police officers to receive information before crime takes place. They therefore have enough time to prepare and resist the crime before any loss is experienced. The systems assist police departments to predict the seasons of crime events from the trends of criminal activities as reflected in the system. Historically, there are areas, which the system has demarcated as hot spots for crime. It also has a common pattern of repeated events, which the system has confirmed to be consistent. It almost predicts the number of crimes and the number of perpetrators together with their logistical preparation. Without information system such as COMPSTAT, police forces have to wait until an incident has occurred for them to act, but that allows the criminals enough chances to disguise themselves and evade arrests. Police occasionally trap criminals in desperate situation whereby criminals are forced to surrender. This reduces the chances of police officers suffering casualties as result of unpreparedness. Instead, the police forces have the advantage having the opportunity to ambush criminals.

Even though information systems may not work as accurately as expected, police forces can depend on them for predicting the likelihood of crimes occurring. The challenge is that even the criminal gangs have a systematic approach of studying the intelligence of the systems and technologies. They therefore change their patterns to confuse the knowledgebase of the information system. Similarly, once the hot spots have been identified, criminal gangs prefer to change their operational locations, committing crimes in unexpected areas. Tools such as COMPTIA have to be updated frequently to maintain the relevance of the data. Ordinary local patrols tend to interfere with the unconcerned public, since police forces do not have the whole idea of how to track the criminals.

Question 4: Answer –SWOT Analysis

In this analysis, it is evident that as much as predictive policing system has strengths and opportunities, it also has weaknesses and threats in its strategic planning approaches it applies in the process of evaluating its effectiveness and efficiency in meeting its objectives. The use of such a system can facilitate the preparation of action plans for new ideas and initiatives.

The strengths and weaknesses of the system reflect in the internal failures and successes of the program within the police forces.

Threats and Opportunities reflect in the external organization of the policewhich affects their work.

The summary below gives the SWOT analysis for a typical predictive policing system in managing crime incidents.
Internal Strengths (internal ability):

It gives a strong assurance to the leadership inside the police forces in order to facilitate the police actions on criminal activities

It is easy to train competent officers within the forces to as well as new recruits

Police officers confront crime from informed ground and are well prepared to manage the crime.

It has reliable sources of information to predict crime

Weaknesses (internal restrictions):

It suffers from understaffing of police staff in various police stations. Even though the system is effective, the number of police officers may not be able to manage the number of criminals.

Some stations lack information Technology Skills because of limited training opportunity. The thus face challenges the data entry and recording in the system. Putting training into practice is difficult because the training because the training environment is different from the actual crime environment.

The police presence within the community reduces, causing threats to the community.

External Opportunities (External factors):

The police forces win the support of local residents. It receives information from the residents leading to improvement of the internal working strategies. The system provides opportunity for police officers to study since there are courses specifically for the intelligence to manage various crimes including gender-based violence. Police forces indicate a lot of interest in using the system to avoid aimless patrols that expose them to dangers without preparation.

Some police forces award certificates to recognize the qualification of its staff. It promotes the progress of its professionalism and the development programs.

Police are able to get additional partners and donors to acquire resources for mitigating criminal activities in the society.

This support motivates police officers and gives them the reasons to dedicate their efforts to service.

Threats (External challenges):

Any failure that occurs in police service causes the police to lose confidence of the cities.

Police forces still face the challenge of criminals changing their tactics to avoid confrontation with police officers.

The training of staff and maintenance of the system is an addition cost to the police forces. The government does not readily accept or approve the request for training opportunities.


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