Crimes prevented with data analysis, say police
New focus on drinking and driving
Police forces on P.E.I. are using new tools and techniques to analyze crime data, and having success not only in catching criminals but preventing crime.
Glen McGrath, a former RCMP officer who is now a civilian working for the force as a crime analyst, said crunching numbers isn't as dull as it might sound.
"In the end when the arrest is made and the conviction is had, it is satisfying and exciting and interesting," said McGrath.
McGrath is one of three crime analysts working for police forces across P.E.I. He said where and when crimes are committed can provide clues.
"Try to draw conclusions as to who might be committing the crimes, and their locations. And there's a prediction aspect as well where you would attempt to predict when the next crime will occur and in what area," he said.
Crime analysis helped police identify suspects in a recent string of cottage break-ins, and it helped them catch the suspects in the act.
Recently analysts have started to expand their focus beyond property crimes to include drinking and driving.
"We've been able to get repeat impaired drivers before the courts more often," said RCMP Staff Sgt. Jamie George, the head of criminal intelligence on P.E.I.
Police said they hope to use data analysis as a tool to prevent even more crime in the future.