Pimpri-Chinchwad police begins spatial, temporal mapping of crime data of past 5 years

Understanding crime trends on the lines of state-level and national-level crime database can be the key to better and efficient policing, officials said.

The Pimpri-Chinchwad police has begun “spatial and temporal” mapping of crime data of the past three to five years to identify hotposts for each category of crime. This will help it scientifically plan a strategy to tackle crime and optimally use available resources, said police officials.

The exercise, which began three weeks ago, is being done at all the 15 police stations in the city as well as the various wings of the Crime Branch.

Officials are preparing graphs, pie charts and geographical maps of police station jurisdictions, where “crime hotspots” are being identified and analysed.

Pimpri-Chinchwad Police Commissioner Krishna Prakash said, “We have started doing the temporal — related to time, and spatial — related to space, mapping of the crime data. The concept of predictive policing entails analysis of past data to devise methodologies to prevent future crimes. For example, one of the analysis we are doing is of vehicles. We study the patternin timings and locations of vehicle thefts. We are trying to understand if vehicles of a particular make are being stolen more and also if there is a pattern in how exactly the thefts have been executed. Then there is another study of secluded areas that have witnessed crime. We are studying lighting arrangements, presence of CCTV cameras and availability of motorable roads for patrolling…”

Understanding crime trends on the lines of state-level and national-level crime database can be the key to better and efficient policing, officials said.

All states collate data on crime to understand patterns and take policy decisions accordingly. In Maharashtra, the Pune-headquartered Criminal Investigation Department (CID) collates and analyses yearly crime data.

Similarly, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) collects data from all states to analyse national level crime trends.

Officials said a recent analysis of CCTV footage and pattern of thefts in house break-ins in rural areas over the past nine months led to the Crime Branch busting a gang of burglars and solve 48 cases of house break-ins since 2019.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Manchak Ippar said, “The mapping has helped us identify hotspots for crime heads such as chain snatching and robberies, vehicle thefts, house break-ins, night crimes and also body offences. Scientifically plotted hotspots will help us better strategise patrolling regimes of beat marshals.”

Prakash said, “…A similar analysis has been done on burglaries or attempted burglaries at ATM kiosks. Almost all recent cases have shown a patten. They take place in industrial areas that have few people at night time. The targeted kiosks had no security, no alarm systems and inadequate security camera cover. We are taking steps that involve participation from all stakeholders.”

An in-charge inspector of a police station in Pimpri-Chinchwad said, “At the police station level, we are identifying hotspots under each police chowky or outpost. These spots are being marked on the map of our jurisdiction along with timing patterns.”

The Pimpri-Chinchwad police jurisdiction was formed by carving out areas from Pune City and Pune Rural jurisdiction in 2018. Along with areas from Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation — which has combination of old residential areas, modern urban spaces and an industrial township, some rural and semi-urban areas also fall under this police unit.

The area of responsibility also includes residential, commercial and industrial localities along the Pune-Mumbai Highway, which have significant floating migrant population. This combination has given the Pimpri-Chinchwad police commissionerate a unique crime profile. At present, Pimpri-Chinchwad police has 15 police stations with a strength of more than 3,000 personnel.

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