Predictive Policing Software

Police play the odds in tracking crime:  Real Time Prediction Software Aids Investigations

Article Courtesy of:  Sun Sentinel

By Larry Barszewski | Article Courtesy of:  Sun Sentinel

Predictive Policing Investigative Database - LP Police

Predictive Policing – Link Analysis – Investigative Database – LP Police

FORT LAUDERDALE — It may not be a crystal ball, but police are testing a new system that more accurately predicts the likelihood of crime in your neighborhood.

The effort, called predictive policing, relies on computer software that analyzes information police have used for years, along with other data they may have never used before.

It can all be done in real time, quickly putting the information at the fingertips of police, possibly finding correlations they didn’t know existed.

A better name might be “probability policing,” said Jim Lingerfelt, of IBM, which developed the software, because the program tries to determine the odds of crime happening in a given area.

“You’re identifying those areas with the highest probability of a certain type of crime occurring,” said Lingerfelt, public safety manager for the company’s Global Smarter Cities initiative.

Palm Beach County police agencies have been exploring a similar idea through the county’s law enforcement exchange program.

Boca Raton Police Chief Dan Alexander said the exchange hasn’t developed any predictive tools, but plans to do so after implementing some more conventional data analysis methods.

The IBM program will take whatever information officials download — from building permits and crime reports to bus routes and the daily weather forecast — to see what it can tell police about potential criminal activity.

Among the data that could be compiled: the release date of a burglar who frequently targeted your neighborhood. Or building permits, which might show your neighbors are putting on additions, a magnet for thieves stealing construction materials. Or it could be that police reports are documenting a pattern of car break-ins that indicates your street may be next.

“It’s very similar to the information they had before,” Lingerfelt said. “But before it was very cumbersome, very labor intensive and nowhere near as complete as what they’re getting now in a matter of seconds.”

Patrol officers can start off the day on their laptop checking out the trends in their assigned areas, which can help them figure out how best to spend their time.

Command staff can use daily reports to direct resources to potential hot spots.

“I think every day that we wake up, that we’re part of this law enforcement environment, that we need to be creative and innovative and come up with the next best method on how do we reduce crime,” Police Chief Frank Adderley said.

Commissioner Bruce Roberts hopes the program will help police identify and keep track of repeat offenders, which he said could go a long way toward lowering the city’s crime rate.

“Most of your crimes are committed by a core few criminals,” said Roberts, a former police chief in the city. “When they’re released, they’ve been arrested again.”

The city last week approved using $200,000 in federal law enforcement dollars to pay overtime to a task force of detectives, patrol officers and others who can be assigned as needed, based on the computer analysis.

lbarszewski@tribune.com or 954-356-4556

Article Courtesy of:  Sun Sentinel

Help Solve This Tough Case “Any Ideas?”

Police admit they’re ‘stumped’ by mystery car thefts 

TODAY - CLICK HERE

Jeff Rossen and Josh Davis | Article Courtesy of:  TODAY

There’s a new wave of auto thefts that police can’t figure out.

So could you be at risk?

TODAY National Investigative Correspondent Jeff Rossen looked into it.

This is a real mystery.

You think when you lock your car and set the alarm, your car is pretty safe.

But criminals have designed a new high-tech gadget giving them full access to your car. It’s so easy, it’s like the criminals have your actual door remote.

Police are so baffled they want to see if you can help crack the case.

A Long Beach, Calif., surveillance video shows a thief approaching a locked SUV in a driveway. Police say he’s carrying a small device in the palm of his hand. You can barely see it, but he aims it at the car and pops the locks electronically. He’s in, with access to everything. No commotion at all.

Then his accomplice shows up and hits another car, using that same handheld device.

Long Beach Deputy Police Chief David Hendricks is mystified. “This is bad in the sense we’re stumped,” he told us. “We are stumped and we don’t know what this technology is.”

He said it’s almost like the thieves are cloning your car remote, which is virtually impossible to do. Here’s why: On most cars, when you hit the unlock button, it sends a code to the car.

That code is encrypted and constantly changing — and should be hack-proof.

Investigative Database - Top Stolen Cars

Jim Stickley is one of the country’s leading security experts.

He’s watched the tapes, and he’s stumped too.

“This is really frustrating because clearly they’ve figured out something that looks really simple and whatever it is they’re doing, it takes just seconds to do,” Stickley said. “And you look and you go, ‘That should not be possible.'”

It’s happening from California to Illinois.

Michael Shin’s home security camera caught a crook breaking into his Honda Accord using a similar device. But you’d never know it. On the video, the crook looks like the owner of the car, unlocking the doors remotely.

The thief stole cash and an expensive cell phone.

“I felt pretty unsafe,” Shin said. “It was shocking. It just opens magically without him having to do anything.”

Adding to the mystery, police say the device works on some cars but not others. Other surveillance videos show thieves trying to open a Ford SUV and a Cadillac, with no luck. But an Acura SUV and sedan pop right open. And they always seem to strike on the passenger side. Investigators don’t know why.

“We’ve reached out to the car manufacturers, the manufacturers of the vehicle alarm systems: Nobody seems to know what this technology is,” Hendricks told us. “When you look at the video and you see how easy it is, it’s pretty unnerving.”

This is so new, police don’t know how widespread it is.

But no question, they’re desperate to track down one of these devices so they can see how it works.

Read the Complete Article… 

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Jeff Rossen and Josh Davis | Article Courtesy of:  TODAY