Real-time Crime Centers: The Virtual Partner for Crime Prevention

February 1, 2021
February 1, 2021/Innovation

Real-time Crime Centers: The Virtual Partner for Crime Prevention


The growing number of data sources in public safety, like video surveillance, body cameras, LPRs, traffic cameras, and other devices, have given police more evidence to work with to prevent and solve crime in real time.

But these vast amounts of information now available to law enforcement have given rise to a new challenge: How can agencies more quickly process the data and understand which pieces really matter?

Gathering and reviewing all the data from sources like surveillance footage, automatic license plate readers, and information provided by citizens is indeed a tedious and time-consuming task when done manually. But with the help of technology being used in Real-time Crime Centers, information from these sources can be more quickly processed, analyzed and interpreted to make better decisions faster.

Over the past decade, more agencies have begun leveraging Real-Time Crime Centers or Realtime Operations Centers for faster incident response and crime prevention.

These centers are typically equipped with cutting-edge technology that shows information from multiple sources to provide a real time view of public safety in the community. The 365™ RealTime Command Center platform, for example, brings together real-time CAD incidents, live video feeds, LPR, ShotSpotter gunshot incidents, Unit locations, tips from the community, and historic location intel onto a single screen.
Not only is this intelligence available to analysts and command staff in the crime center, but it is also available in real-time to officers in the field on their MDT or mobile devices. This level of intel provides a more complete picture of incidents and better prepares officers for when they arrive on-scene.

Agencies can also respond to crimes faster thanks to RTCC intelligence. When RTCC detects a shots-fired incident, for example, officers can be dispatched to the location even before a 911 call is received.

The insights and advanced analytics of real-time crime centers also help agencies develop more effective strategies to prevent future crimes and solve existing cases more quickly.

Using the data, AI-enhanced video analytics and predictive modelling of RTCC, crime analysts can more easily identify trends and crime patterns. Analytics tools can be used for generic or statistical trends such as a rise in homicides or gang activity in a specific area. Built-in heatmaps and incident timelines give a clear visual illustration of how crime is affecting specific areas so that agencies can allocate resources for areas that need it most.

Combined with proven policing and investigation tactics, Realtime Crime Center technologies have shown promising improvements in public safety. This is evident from the reduction in crime rates and the development of proactive crime prevention strategies in cities like New York and Chicago. Chicago alone has seen a 5 to 15 percent average reduction in crime, with some districts reaching up to a 40 percent reduction in criminal activity.

For agencies that have implemented Realtime Crime Centers, the technology has become an indispensable tool for both command staff and officers in the field. And as existing RTCC technologies like AI and video analytics continue to improve, so will their ability to help agencies build safer communities.

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