Geo-Crime: Innovative Solution for Crime Analysis and Prevention
“Our biggest achievement would be to be present at the place where a crime is going to happen—because then we could prevent it.” This statement given by a police officer during the development of our research can be regarded as the summary of this work. One possibility making a crime not to occur is to prevent it, e.g., by placing police officers at the right time at the right place in order to deter potential offenders. Is it possible to predict where a crime is going to happen? Are there economic or social factors associated with the places where crime occurs? Are there particular economic activities associated with crime? These are only some of the questions we asked ourselves before starting our research the goal of which was to use spatial analysis techniques to identify places with high crime concentration (hot spots) and further analyze the factors that are associated with crime. Crime data were provided by the municipal police of Vitoria-Gasteiz. The proposed methodology included a spatial analysis to identify the places and moments where the hot spots of criminal activities are concentrated. The aim was to optimize the police presence on the streets and, as a result, increase the effectiveness of crime prevention. This work can therefore be regarded as an example of how municipal management can be improved through effective management of geographic information and spatial data processing; and it can also serve as an example of how to develop geomatics applications in nontraditional fields such as geodesy or cadaster development through the cooperation between specialists in crime and GIS.
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