IBM enters the crime prediction business with the Crime Information Warehouse

Well this is kind of interesting.

It seems that IBM has developed a crime database called Crime Information Warehouse (CIW) as a service for police to detect crime trends in real time. The idea being that CIW pulls together all kinds of 'little' information relating to crimes in order to provide a bigger picture that lets police connect crimes, crack cases sooner, and spot trends that could lead to stopping crime from happening in the first place.

Police departments excel at capturing information, but there's no efficient structure for dealing with where all that crime data goes afterwards. Critical case information ends up sitting in pockets across many departments and it's left to officers to tirelessly track it down. That's less time spent doing what they were trained to do--solve the crimes.

That's where the CIW steps in. The software solution currently being applied in Richmond, Virginia, New York City, and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, acts as a repository for crime related data, pulling information from multiple standalone systems to give officers a one-stop access point for all their data needs. Integrated crime statistics made available in real time can revolutionize policing tactics, making it "predictive"--if officers can see the trends forming through patterns in the data, they can more likely prevent any further similar crimes.

"Analytics recently identified a neighborhood as having a spike in thefts from vehicles," says John Warden, Manager, Business Performance Section, Edmonton Police Service. "Officers were assigned to go door to door in the area canvassing the occupants for further information. They spent about four high-visibility hours talking to the community residents. No one was arrested or identified as a suspect, but there were no further thefts from vehicles in the area for three weeks."

via Fast Company.

Gee, combine that with a Kinect driven Surface display and the next thing you know we're living in a Minority Report world.