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How Identifying Trends in Local Crime Data Impacts Public Safety

Crime Insights

Ben Zenick



For any organization, the ability to analyze data accelerates the ability to respond to trends and secure a competitive advantage. Core sectors like retail, manufacturing, finance, and even sports have been transformed by data analytics. But for law enforcement, data is still an underused resource.

The tide is turning, however. In 2021, the federal government introduced the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), which expanded the scope of data compiled in crime reports. The initiative provides a broader, more informative picture of crime — at the national level. Local law enforcement gained little benefit from all the data they compiled on the FBI’s behalf.

Now, your local agency can see the same timely, actionable benefits from data analytics as other industries. With Crime Insights, your teams gain visibility into recent criminal activity within your jurisdiction. This tool not only provides your agency with a valuable means of managing your resources, you also gain insights into improving public safety and reducing crime.

Why Analyzing Your NIBRS Data Constitutes a Critical Advantage

The NIBRS rollout enabled the FBI to gather more detailed insights about crime than ever before. Instead of only compiling broad trends in violent crime and property offenses, NIBRS gathers information about the types of weapons used, the value of lost property, demographic information, and other details.

But for local law enforcement, these valuable data points were inaccessible. For one, NIBRS data is formatted in a way that’s closed to reporting for any local agency. Secondly, the reports the FBI generates from NIBRS take months to produce. By the time they’re available for a local agency, the window has closed to assign new resources or make any other impact on the results.

However, Crime Insights transforms NIBRS data into a vital resource. Designed in a partnership between Zencos and SAS as a turnkey solution, the platform unlocks the insights within NIBRS data for local law enforcement agencies. Plus, it uses a drag-and-drop interface for integratgin your NIBRS data directly into visualizations and analytics..

By eliminating the need for additional resources, Crime Insights is an approachable way to apply the data your organization generates. And, by generating the right reports, you can apply the system to make a real impact on public safety.

How Crime Insights Dashboards Impact Prevention Strategies

Crime Insights was designed to transform NIBRS data into clear visualizations that are useful in the here and now. Once integrated with the system, you can apply predefined charts to identify trends that would otherwise go unnoticed.

For example, a dashboard can display the geographic details from your NIBRS data within a specific area within your jurisdiction. By viewing incidents over a period of months, weeks, or even overnight, you gain a clear view of criminal activity to inform enforcement strategies. At a time when budgets are stretched, your ability to make data-driven decisions about where to dedicate resources is crucial.

Plus, Crime Insights allows you to visualize incidents in the same area over specific time periods and days of the week. Analyzing incidents over time allows your teams to develop a clear picture of what tactical shifts are making a difference over time.

Apply Health Data to Integrate Crime Insights with Public Safety

The opioid crisis impacts every law enforcement agency and community across the country. Obviously, an overdose doesn’t constitute a crime, and therefore wouldn’t be compiled as an incident in NIBRS data. However, with an add-on developed by Zencos, your agency can combine public safety data with information drawn from the health of your community.

Using data from medication-assisted treatment (MAT) of opioid use in your area, MAT Insights enables you to monitor trends in overdoses and how those incidents correlate with criminal activity. With these details at your disposal, you can apply measures to impact prevention while also ensuring your teams have sufficient resources like Naloxone to minimize harm in your community.

Crime Insights Transforms Data into Actionable Insights

Companies are in a race to modernize because data is crucial to their success now and in the future. The FBI implemented the NIBRS program with a similar goal of understanding data trends. But local law enforcement agencies were primarily still left to function on a case-by-case basis.

Now, by loading NIBRS data into Crime Insights, your agency gains visibility into the details that inform your work. Crime Insights enables you to visualize the impact of your current enforcement strategies and make adjustments that make a difference. Then, by reviewing the results of those changes, you can better understand what’s working and why.

Crime Insights is the first SAS offering directly available through a direct digital sales channel like Azure Marketplace. Consequently, it acts as a true software-as-a-service offering that doesn’t require advanced technical expertise to implement. At a time when crime remains a core issue across the country, Crime Insights presents a vital opportunity.

By partnering with Zencos, your agency can transform the NIBRS data you’re compiling into a tool that impacts the way your agency protects your community. If this sounds like a tool that will make a difference for your team, we should talk.

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