Crime Reporting and Predicting Tool

With inadequate crime response and prevention efforts in the Uganda Police Force, the researcher developed a crime reporting and predictive tool to provide support to the police by the system providing crime trends and forecasting crimes which would provide for timely strategic planning and deployment by the police. The system would also enable authorised users to access the crime trends. Users would also be able to see crime rates in an area by selecting the area on the map to give crime statistics (Perry, 2013).

The crime reporting and predictive tool would use crime historical information maintained by the local Police to help them predict crime patterns with the support of a huge and self-updating database (Bachner, 2013). This system would operate to prevent crime, help in apprehending criminals, and to introduce order in the way crime are processed, analysed and managed. This system is also vital in helping the law enforcers transform to become a proactive force, rather than a reactive body. It is also vital in maintaining and managing an up to date database of criminal suspects including information on arrest records and possible associations with other known suspects (Bachner, 2013). One of UPF’s main goals to reduce and prevent crime in Uganda would be solved by using the crime reporting and predictive tool, through identifying the likely locations of future crime to guide the deployment of police resources.

A strong body of evidence supports the theory that crime statistical data is predictable because criminals tend to operate in their comfort zone (Katrandjian & Hurricane, 2011). That is, they tend to commit the same type of crime they successfully committed in the past, around the same time and location. Although, this may not be a fact, it is seen that the frequency at which it occurs is sufficient to feed data into a predictive tool for accurate predictions. (Katrandjian & Hurricane, 2011).

Law enforcement agencies use computer analysed information of past crimes, and other pertinent intelligence to predict and prevent crime (Brantingham, 2011). The idea is to improve situational awareness at the tactical and strategic levels and to develop strategies that encourage for more efficient and effective policing. With situational awareness and anticipation of human behaviour, police can identify and develop strategies to prevent criminal activity by repeat offenders against repeat victims. Such methods allow for police departments to work more proactively with limited resources. However, it must be understood at all levels that applying these methods is not equivalent to finding a crystal ball. For a policing strategy to be considered effective, it must produce tangible results. For example, crime rates should be lower, arrest rates for serious offenses should increase, and there should be an observable positive impact on social and justice outcomes (Brantingham, 2011).

In future, the researchers, lecturers, and students can use the findings of the study for referential purposes in further research such as when citing authors of literature on crime predictive and reporting tools.