Standardizing crime


A recent article in a Dutch newspaper describes the success the Dutch police force is realizing with data mining products. Policemen are using data mining software to predict time and place of potential criminal activities, such as burglary and robbery, and direct extra police attention to these hotspots at those hours.
As with any data mining project, the quality of the analyses depends heavily on the quality of the data entered in the data warehouse.
Every statement entered in the system, every location, description of people, every relevant object needs to be comparable.
Address standardization products can help when entering locations precise and first time right in the system. Other data quality solutions are available for entering names and other data of people – suspects, victims, and witnesses.
But what about the other aspects of a statement? Was the crime the theft of a car, a vehicle, a van, a pick-up, etc? Did the villain pick a purse or a wallet? A bicycle or a bike? The list of synonyms for objects of crime is endless.
I think the criminal community should come to an agreement and decide on standards to make analyses of these data mining projects even more successful. Now that Christmas is nearing,we all want a better world, isn’t it?