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Hot Blocking targets crime reduction for safer streets

Unlike sci-fi there is no such thing as pre-crime, yet. It is difficult to know exactly what will happen and where but with the latest technology and the most accurate OS data, we can crack down on crime and antisocial behaviour all over the country.

Understanding the sadly predictable patterns of where and when crimes occur can save lives. We can’t always stop the crime, but we can save time and be in the right place, faster than ever before.

What were the challenges?

  • 80% of violence unreported and hard to reach intelligence about where risk of crime is greatest.
  • Understanding the impact of alcohol licensing and binge drinking trends.
  • A cost effective method for targeting emerging issues in specific venues and streets before problems escalate.
  • Providing clear evidence for the need for change and to build successful partnerships between police, business and the local community.
  • Data Visualisation and analysis that is compatible with the national intelligence model for policing and crucial for mainstream application of the ‘Cardiff Model’.

What was the solution?

Gathering and sharing the latest and most accurate information on cities and where trouble occurs exposes recognisable ‘trends’ in incidents that can be better prepared for and faster responded to.

Hot blocking allowed a clear insight into where and when, generally speaking, violent crime had been occurring in the West End, so I could plan to prevent violence and ASB with the best data to hand. It provided clarity about where and when particular police activities should be targeted so to maximise our efforts to cut violent crime.

Superintendent Steve Osborne, Westminster Police

Hot Blocking is a crime mapping method showing where the risk of violent street crime is highest. It has been developed by SafeStats to make optimal use of shared data from Ambulance services and A&E departments for targeting crime prevention tactics.

The PSMA provides the NHS, police and local government with free access to all the location data required for Hot Blocking: detailed mapping, addressing and boundaries. The SafeStats team at the Greater London Authority provides software and analysis expertise to combine this shared health date with the PSMA data to produce accessible intelligence and data about crime trends.

The results of these efforts speak for themselves: Used by the police in London’s west end in 2012, Operation Trafalgar used OS data for Hot Blocking and saw a 33% reduction in crime through targeted increases in police deployment to make London safer in peak times.

What were the outcomes?

  • Crime reduction and prevention.
  • Hot Blocking can be delivered with standard analytical software.
  • Focus on specific sections of a street.
  • Perfect solution in time limited scenarios.
  • All emergency services better prepared.
  • PSMA data can be shared freely with other public sector bodies through the agreement.
  • Clubs, pubs and other venues helped to understand what causes the problems.
  • Potential to reduce overall stress in A&E departments.
  • A saving of 122 Ambulance call outs the West End in the first half of 2012 with an estimated saving of £28,000.

The Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) is the strategic oversight body which sets the direction and budget for the Metropolitan Police Service on behalf of the Mayor. It ensures the Metropolitan Police Service is run efficiently and effectively and holds it, and other criminal justice services, to account on behalf of Londoners.

The products used

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