The Saint John Police Force has adopted a visionary, Intelligence-Led Policing business model that is evidence-based and focuses on crime reduction. Crime analysis and crime mapping turn data into visible stories, so that the Police Force can proactively recognize problem areas and swiftly develop crime fighting strategies. The result has been successive, sustainable double-digit crime reduction for targeted crime types (since 2009.)
The analysis and maps facilitate discussions at bi-weekly crime control meetings, where dozens of officers meet to discuss the data and develop informed crime reduction strategies. These strategies include contacting victims and neighbours at elevated risk, and identifying solutions that will prevent future crimes. Dedicated resources are deployed in problem areas, to act in a directed policing capacity and to continuously follow up and adapt to the crime situation. The crime reduction cycle then begins all over again at future Crime Control meetings.
Discussions within the Force – and with the community – are conversations that matter. This is how we better understand the crime information. Data becomes information when it has meaning, and information becomes police intelligence when it is actionable. Sometimes the action is traditional policing, and sometimes it is novel solutions in partnership with the community …such as advocating for the No-wait-list Maintenance Methadone program. The phrase “Law enforcement whenever necessary, but not necessarily law enforcement” best illustrates the shift in organizational culture that Intelligence-Led Policing has brought to the Saint John Police Force.
The public (online) crime mapping resource CrimeMapping.com is a ‘virtual conversation’ with our communities. It provides very current basic crime data in a map format, so the public can assess what it is happening in their neighbourhoods and contribute to the intelligence gathering, understanding, and problem solving.