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Identification of operational demand in law enforcement agencies: An application based on a probabilistic model of topics

Marcio Pereira Basilio (Federal Fluminense University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Valdecy Pereira (Federal Fluminense University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Gabrielle Brum (Federal Fluminense University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Data Technologies and Applications

ISSN: 2514-9288

Article publication date: 20 August 2019

Issue publication date: 2 September 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a methodology for knowledge discovery in emergency response service databases based on police occurrence reports, generating information to help law enforcement agencies plan actions to investigate and combat criminal activities.

Design/methodology/approach

The developed model employs a methodology for knowledge discovery involving text mining techniques and uses latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA) with collapsed Gibbs sampling to obtain topics related to crime.

Findings

The method used in this study enabled identification of the most common crimes that occurred in the period from 1 January to 31 December of 2016. An analysis of the identified topics reaffirmed that crimes do not occur in a linear manner in a given locality. In this study, 40 per cent of the crimes identified in integrated public safety area 5, or AISP 5 (the historic centre of the city of RJ), had no correlation with AISP 19 (Copacabana – RJ), and 33 per cent of the crimes in AISP 19 were not identified in AISP 5.

Research limitations/implications

The collected data represent the social dynamics of neighbourhoods in the central and southern zones of the city of Rio de Janeiro during the specific period from January 2013 to December 2016. This limitation implies that the results cannot be generalised to areas with different characteristics.

Practical implications

The developed methodology contributes in a complementary manner to the identification of criminal practices and their characteristics based on police occurrence reports stored in emergency response databases. The generated knowledge enables law enforcement experts to assess, reformulate and construct differentiated strategies for combating crimes in a given locality.

Social implications

The production of knowledge from the emergency service database contributes to the government integrating information with other databases, thus enabling the improvement of strategies to combat local crime. The proposed model contributes to research on big data, on the innovation aspect and on decision support, for it breaks with a paradigm of analysis of criminal information.

Originality/value

The originality of the study lies in the integration of text mining techniques and LDA to detect crimes in a given locality on the basis of the criminal occurrence reports stored in emergency response service databases.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the Federal Fluminense University and the Military Police of the State of Rio de Janeiro for the unrestricted support received for conducting the research, as well as the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior – Brasil (CAPES) for the partial financing of the research – Finance Code 001.

Citation

Basilio, M.P., Pereira, V. and Brum, G. (2019), "Identification of operational demand in law enforcement agencies: An application based on a probabilistic model of topics", Data Technologies and Applications, Vol. 53 No. 3, pp. 333-372. https://doi.org/10.1108/DTA-12-2018-0109

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited