police use of technology

Survey: Social media analysis tops crime-fighting tech

What: A survey of 450 law enforcement officials on the use of crime fighting software by the Wynyard Group.

Why: Data-driven law enforcement coupled with the use of data analytics has the potential to help law enforcement be more effective and efficient.

Findings: While many law enforcement agencies do not have predictive and analytical programs, they do use technology to scan social media to look for trends and signs of violence or drug activity, with 60 percent of respondents analyzing social networks to uncover gang activity and 77 percent analyzing social media for gang intelligence.

Only 34 percent of those who took the survey they are currently using crime analytics, with 66 percent citing budget constraints as the top reason for failure to adopt the technology. Those that do use crime fighting software do so for combat drug activity and gang violence. Survey respondents also said they would prefer allocating funds to crime fighting software rather than body cameras, if given a choice.

Takeaway: While those law enforcement agencies using crime-fighting software are solving crimes faster, the majority cannot take advantage of the technology because of budget constraints.

The full results of the survey are here.

About the Author

Derek Major is a former reporter for GCN.

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