West Yorkshire Police predict crime spots using data

New technology to predict where crimes will occur and target police officers to the areas at greatest risk is being used in Leeds.

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Technology aimed at helping to predict where crimes will occur is being used in West Yorkshire.

The technology, Project Optimal, is being featured on the Crimewatch Roadshow on BBC One on Monday at 09:15.

West Yorkshire Police said intelligence analysts use data to pinpoint streets at greatest risk of burglary, and increase patrols accordingly.

The pilot project started in the North West Leeds Division, which includes the Headingley area.

Police said in Headingley there had been a 65% reduction (20 fewer) burglaries over the first five weeks of the project, compared to the same period last year.

The pilot project started in the North West Leeds Division, which includes Headingley stadium, Leeds Bradford airport and a large student population at two universities.

'Pinpoints streets'

It also includes Armley, Bramley, Burley, Calverley, Farsley, Headingley, Rodley, Woodhouse and Otley.

The crime details in the computer are refreshed three times a week.

The statistics allow officers to isolate a short time, even one particular hour, that is a particular burglary risk in a specific street.

A Headingley street Headingley has seen a 65% reduction in burglary in five weeks

Extra patrols can then be put into the area.

Ch Supt Dave Oldroyd, of West Yorkshire Police, said: "This new project allows us to more reliably pinpoint specific areas and times where the risk is greatest so we can target our resources more effectively and efficiently."

A similar predictive approach by Greater Manchester Police helped cut burglaries in the Trafford area by 27% in 2010/11, police said.

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