How new data software is helping Avon and Somerset Police cut crime

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Police say they've been able to reduce levels of violent crime by a quarter in one of Bristol's busiest areas, thanks to the use of data analytics.

Avon and Somerset Police receives more than 10,000 pieces of information a day. Now it is using the Qlik computer programme to sift though these to tell officers where to target resources.

What is Qlik?

The software can examine crime types, crime levels, locations and the number of officers out on the road.

The force says it has been amazed by the results.

It is a case of laptops rather than notebooks at briefings at Trinity Road Police Station in Bristol. Credit: ITV West Country

Chief Inspector Deepak Kenth works in East Bristol, the busiest sector in the force, where they are finding that combining old techniques like intelligence and covert work with new methods - data analytics - is proving very effective.

Ch Insp Deepak Kenth said: "The organisation has tens of thousands of bits of information and data in on a daily basis.

"It is then processed and Qlik helps us to funnel that data - what I would call a blizzard of data.

"It helps us to see through that blizzard of data by making it simple... If there are any trends or patterns that are happening and also it helps us identify and predict harm in our society."

The data can reveal pinch points for crime - meaning officers get sent to the right places at the right time and the force can build up a picture of any patterns or trends of crime more easily.

Sgt Nick Smart also sees the new intelligence as an effective use of resources. He said: "You come across live incidents all the time and I think, because of the data, we are able to be at the right location at the right time.

"It's not pot luck - we're there because we are pointed there because of the data and the crime figures that say 'this is where you should be'."

The Qlik software turns the data into maps and graphs so that it can be easily interpreted and acted upon. Credit: ITV West Country

The software analyses the data, which includes types of crime, crime levels, locations, suspect management and numbers of officers on the road, and turns it into something officers can use.

Dan Aldwinckle from the software company Qlik said its purpose is to simplify and make sense of information.

"It takes feeds of data - multiple feeds of data - joins them together and then displays them back to the officers in the form of visualisations - charts and graphs etc that they can drive meaning from", he said.

"They can see workloads, they can see calls and they can make decisions how they deal with those in near real time".