Memphis Police Department reduces crime rates with IBM predictive analytics software

Gains Ability to Identify and Map Crime "Hot Spots," Reduces Serious Crime By More Than 30 Percent

CHICAGO, 07/21/10 -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Memphis Police Department (MPD) has enhanced its crime fighting techniques with IBM predictive analytics software and reduced serious crime by more than 30 percent, including a 15 percent reduction in violent crimes since 2006.

MPD is now able to evaluate incident patterns throughout the city and forecast criminal “hot spots” to proactively allocate resources and deploy personnel,resulting in improved force effectiveness and increased public safety.

Leading law enforcement agencies like MDP are using IBM analytics software to predict trends, allocate resources and identify “hot spots” to reduce crime rates — including directed patrol, targeted traffic enforcement, task forces, operations, high-visibility patrol and targeted investigations.

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program mirrored what the city of Memphis was seeing on the municipal level: crime, noticeably violent crime, was on the rise. Aware that traditional policing approaches were becoming less effective, MPD created Blue CRUSH™, or Criminal Reduction Utilizing Statistical History, an innovative, evidence-based approach using IBM predictive analytics software, built in partnership with the University of Memphis’ Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

IBM predictive analytics software compiles volumes of crime records in seconds, including incoming data sources from patrols, pertaining to type of criminal offense, time of day, day of week or various victim/offender characteristics. MPD can now better guide daily decisions that address criminal activity and place officers in a better strategic position to respond to an unfolding crime. For instance, in January 2010, targeted police operations in Memphis’ Hollywood-Springdale neighborhood resulted in more than 50 arrests of drug dealers; and, the area has witnessed a 36.8 percent reduction in crime.

“As crime becomes more sophisticated, law enforcement must become even smarter by adopting advanced crime prevention tactics made possible with IBM predictive analytics software. Memphis Police Department now has the invaluable insight all of our staff can use — from the commanders to the patrolling officers — to specifically focus investigative and patrol resources with the goal of preventing crime and making our neighborhoods safer,” said Colonel James Harvey, commander, Ridgeway Station, at MPD. “IBM’s comprehensive set of capabilities for data access, data preparation, analysis and reporting allow us to get the most value from our analytical resources, empowering every officer on the force to take a proactive role in the city’s ongoing commitment to crime prevention and public safety.”

To listen to Colonel James Harvey discuss the importance of IBM predictive analytics software in Memphis Police Department’s Blue CRUSH program, view

Blue CRUSH uses IBM SPSS predictive analytics software to analyze past and present information and create multi-layer maps of crime “hot spots” based on various arrests and incidents. MPD is able to evaluate incident patterns throughout the city and connect the dots — such as outside of concert venues; or crime trends, such as increased car burglary on rainy nights. The software enables Blue CRUSH to analyze an array of data in areas as wide as the city’s entire nine precincts or narrowed down to a single block.

Blue CRUSH has greatly expanded over the years and now works in tandem with MPD’s Real Time Crime Center (RTCC), a $3 million state-of-the-art crime monitoring and analysis hub that opened in June 2008.This unique approach to fighting crime earned IBM and Memphis Police Department a 2010 Technology ROI Award from independent analyst firm Nucleus Research. MPD recorded an 863 percent ROI in just 2.7 months, an average annual benefit of $7,205,501. Download the full case study here.

“The Memphis Police Departmentis changing the face of law enforcement. By analyzing past criminal behavior patterns and then mapping their anticipated future occurrence, police departments are able to deliver critical real-time information to the field, allowing for appropriate deployment of forces. In becoming smarter through its use predictive analytics, Memphis is now a safer community and better addresses the needs of its citizens,” said Anne Altman, general manager, Public Sector, IBM.

In the last four years, IBM has invested $11 billion to build its business analytics portfolio, dedicated 5,000 services consultants and made 19 acquisitions. Today, IBM is working with more than 250,000 clients worldwide on predictive analytics, including 22 of the top 24 global commercial banks, 18 of the world's top 22 telecommunication carriers and 11 of the top 12 U.S. specialty retailers.

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To learn more about SPSS, an IBM Company, please visit:

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