ICIAC 2012 Seminar Stream 5A

Abstracts and slides

From analysis to crime reduction (G)

SafeStats delivers for Operation Trafalgar: crime reduction in the West End of London

Stephen Forgan, Greater London Authority

Key words: Operation Trafalgar, GLA, SARA, safestats.org.uk
Slides: Forgan

The nature of our work:

SafeStats is London’s only source of joined up multi-agency crime and disorder data, mapping and analysis.  SafeStats work tirelessly to develop and maintain the availability of accurate and timely data and analysis support for the crime prevention agencies of London. Increasingly we are also responding to the public’s demand for crime data as well as that of the private sector.

Who has been using our work:

“We used SafeStats on Operation Trafalgar to pinpoint Ambulance calls to assaults and help deploy officers to the West End to reduce violence and anti-social behaviour.” Supt Steve Osborne, Westminster.

Westminster’s Operation Trafalgar worked with the SafeStats team and used SafeStats analysis expertise, and their bespoke crime mapping software, to help drive down crime in the West End of London. The West End is one of the most concentrated areas of commerce, business and tourism in the country. Westminster police are just one example of a team making the most of the SafeStats offer. When Westminster police approached us to help to analyse violence and ASB in the west end, we rapidly provided the following:

  • A clear problem profile showcasing the challenges and opportunities for crime reduction in the west end, including;

    • An analysis of ambulance data to understand where and when violence and ASB were occurring
  • We made available cutting edge online hotspot mapping and time of week analysis software, used by analysts in Operation Trafalgar to monitor progress
  • We collaborated with the Ambulance service to understand precisely what their data was telling us
  • We provided a list of problem premises and an analysis of the types of incidents that had been occurring there.

Westminster were able to use the information we provided to make a persuasive and ultimately successful case for additional resources. From the different types of patterns we identified they were able to target these resource optimally. For instance, we identified where peaks in binge drinking were occurring, when this behaviour occurred and the different patterns of behaviour by age and gender.

Using SARA - problem identification:

In March 2011, before Operation Trafalgar, SafeStats Hotspot Analysis of Ambulance data clearly showed that Assault Injuries were highly concentrated in the Soho/Trafalgar area of Westminster.

Results

In March 2012, after Operation Trafalgar, Hotspot Analysis showed Assault Injuries no longer concentrated in Westminster.

Evaluation

The Westminster wards of West End and St. James showed sharp decreases coinciding with Op Trafalgar whilst nearby Camden Town remained level.

Summary

We continue to work with Westminster to maintain progress. We have highlighted the compatibility of our approach with the Cardiff Model throughout. Westminster are now looking to invest in the Cardiff Model.

The SafeStats project has built on work of the LASS programme which has been instrumental in developing information sharing protocols, regular data updates, crime mapping, quality assurance and analysis expertise for the London analyst community.

Reducing metal theft in County Durham and Darlington

Victoria Price, Durham Constabulary

Key words: Metal Theft, Problem Solving, Crime Reduction, Evaluation, Multi-Agency
Slides: Yet to be supplied by presenter

Metal theft is arguably the fastest growing crime type of recent years. At its peak in 2011, it accounted for 11% of all crime and 20% of all thefts in County Durham and Darlington. Yet despite the considerable costs and harms associated with metal theft, there are few case studies available of attempts to reduce the problem. This presentation charts the efforts of Durham Constabulary to reduce metal theft between 2007 and 2012, focusing on the different measures put in place, the implementation challenges encountered and the results observed, both in terms of crime reduction and the wider effects on scrap metal trading.

The presentation begins at Operation Hansell, a 2007 scheme that appeared to have little impact on metal theft in the region. Subsequent analysis into the problem identified several factors that might explain the schemes ineffectiveness: the legislation on scrap metal markets was insufficient to regulate the industry and was regularly ignored; local hotspots had developed around scrap yards; prolific offenders were turning to metal theft from other forms of acquisitive crimes and there were considerable intelligence gaps around offending and stolen metal markets.

After a review of ongoing activity, supported by intelligence analysis, in 2011 Durham Constabulary launched a new campaign against metal theft which ranged from supporting the campaign for a change of legislation to creating local metal theft teams to tackle priority prolific offenders. Alongside these measures, Durham Constabulary ran a series of operations targeting scrap metal yards that were causing the greatest harm and enabling the sale of stolen metal, resulting in warrants being executed in January 2012.  In February 2012, the region adopted Operation Tornado, a British Transport Police and Home Office Forces partnership which supported scrap yards in adopting a voluntary code of practice including taking photographic ID from all customers.  Durham’s previous activity led to nearly 100% adoption but effectively 100% compliance with Operation Tornado.

The result of these activities has been a 60% reduction in metal theft over a 12 month period, with no evidence of displacement or significant drops in metal prices. These are discussed alongside the findings of several interviews with scrap metal dealers on the impact of these schemes on the scrap metal industry. 

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