It may not seem immediately obvious, but public safety is an important contributor to economic growth. When a crime is committed, it devalues the appeal of the city to potential businesses and residents; after all, who wants to spend more on security just to live and work in a place where crime is rampant?
One must also consider the distinct cost crime causes to businesses, taxpayers, and the legal system. Lost wages will abound if victims are forced to take time off work, property damage must be cleaned up, and the cost of putting the accused through the legal system is transferred to the taxpayer.
It has been estimated, in fact, that the average cost of crime per taxpayer in the United States is over $3,000 annually.
So how can the governments improve public safety initiatives in a way that will attract businesses and lower costs for everyone involved?
Public safety organizations need access to several key resources and capabilities if they are to more efficiently keep the peace: relevant data, trusted information systems, enhanced situational awareness, intelligence-based decision making, and unified threat assessment.
These are all things that data can provide. Unfortunately, documents such as arrest records and investigative reports are still largely non-digitized, which presents a challenge to law enforcement officials looking to cross-reference records.
Silos must be broken down to prevent the duplication of information. Systems must be automated and centralized to keep law enforcement aware of changing situations in real-time, and correlations must be made between different entities involved in a single case. These possibilities can all be made a reality with more efficient analysis of data.
For more information on big data and analytics, visit our digital library, where we have a number of whitepapers available for download.