Evolving Greater Public Safety

What is the most powerful crime fighting weapon in the 21st century? You guessed it wrong…It’s not a lethal firearm like AK-56. Actually, it is deep analytics technologies that are making significant progress in transforming public safety. And, it’s happening in New York City, Memphis, Chicago, Madrid, Poland, and Canada…everywhere.

So, what do the greatest crime fighters have in common? What are the forward looking cities across the globe doing to weed out crime and terror related untoward incidents? Such questions become more pertinent in the aftermath of the recent blasts where the cops are still struggling to get the clues.

The answer goes beyond the obvious. Powered by analyzing the patterns of data collected from everywhere for different purposes, forward looking city planners know how to get inside a criminal’s mind, and they seem to have a sixth sense of anticipating next emergency well before a security breach occurs.

Indeed, in several cities around the world, sophisticated technologies like smart surveillance systems are helping public safety agencies make sense of disparate, voluminous data. They are using deep predictive analytics to derive new insights and uncover trends before they become systemic issues or criminal events. For instance, the City of Memphis Police Department is using analytics to help protect its citizens and crush crime. Likewise, the New York Real Time Crime Center consolidates disparate data into real crime fighting results.

For sure, IT enabled emergency management solutions can assist cities in collecting, consolidating, analyzing, visualizing and distributing critical information among multiple agencies and first responders. Data visualization, real-time collaboration and deep analytic capabilities enable cities to plan and prepare for emergencies, coordinate response efforts and accelerate recovery.

It’s high time we show collective responsibility, and strike better synergy in analyzing information gathered from diverse data-collection systems, to counter the lurking dangers. Patterns revealed through analytics can help decision makers anticipate, intercept and deter, rather than just react to, problems. This can lead to predictive policing to minimize inconveniences, overseeing emergencies, stopping crime, and act as a big deterrent for peace breakers.

Indeed, treading the right path of tackling terrorism requires a multipronged approach, along with the current measure, adopted by the security agencies. And, sophisticated technologies can help counter terror threat properly, while there is room for continual improvement.

It’s time to act now, and unleash a coordinated public safety strategy, since we can’t afford to put the trickles of intelligence jigsaw to look at the big picture, and secure the precious lives of people from the ruthless maniacs. Let’s shoot IT smartly to evolve safer cities.


This is contributed by Dhamodaran Ramakrishnan, Director, Smarter Planet Solutions, IBM India/South Asia

R Dhamodaran

In his role as the Director of Smarter Planet Solutions for IBM India/ South Asia, Ramakrishnan Dhamodaran, is responsible for spearheading IBM’s Smarter Planet strategic initiatives in the region. Dhamodaran has spent about 25 years assisting companies in their use of information technology to solve their business problems and gain competitive advantage. Dhamodaran holds a Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Madras, and a Master’s degree in Management from IIM-Bangalore.

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  • August 17, 2012


    I am not sure if the above said technology is going to work in India. The social system is different from western culture to India. Here the crime is always taken place relatively in large numbers based on guidance from leaders of whatever sect people believe in. These all tools can be deterrent but not necessarily the game changer. As even with the tools we might be able to track and bring people to FIR list but then our judicial systems is something which will take years to give the judgement. These systems will definitely work on western countries where the judiciary and police systems works more or less seamlessly. The above mentioned system will work at max to flash alarm in our police system but again they are inadequately staffed to attend all calls. We need a bottom-up approach where education (both moral and bookish) is a must. Its a tough journey but we need to take it in order to make the future secure for our kids..