How AI Can Help Reduce Crime In Jamaica

Analytics JAMAICA (5) - BLOG CRIME
As we enter into one of the worst economic times in recent history, I started to think, about what is the biggest risk to our nation achieving a successful economic recovery. The answer was a crime, and as the economy deteriorates, crime is expected to increase.


Public safety to me is the most important function of government. If we’re not safe, we cant be educated, healthy or do the most basic things needed to carry out normal daily life. In Jamaica, we have some of the worst crime statistics in the world. For example, In 2016 we had the world’s highest violent death rate for females and the sixth highest in total. We ranked overall below Syria, Venezuela, El Salvador, Honduras, and Afghanistan, and above Iraq, Libya, and Somalia.


The global murder average is 6 per 100,000; for the Caribbean region, it is 16 per 100,000 – and Jamaica is at 46.2 per 100,000. Some 40,829 murders have been committed in Jamaica since 1962. In the last eight years alone, some 11,379 murders were committed.


The Economic Impact


According to The Jamaica Observer, Jamaica’s murder rate costs about 5% annually of the Jamaican gross domestic product (GDP) of roughly US$14 billion. That is .05 x US$14 billion = US$70 million per year.


Each 10% fall in our murder rate, therefore, saves US$7 million or J$9 billion per year = J$750 million per month.
Artificial Intelligence


Artificial intelligence (A.I) refers to the ability of machines to understand the world around them, learn and make decisions. A.I is an interdisciplinary and human-centred field.


The number of countries using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to prevent crime has been experiencing a steady increase given the technology’s superiority.


Already police departments in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and many other countries are using facial recognition, fingerprint scanning, surveillance systems, biometrics, and behavioral software monitoring to prevent crime before it occurs.


Police in Vancouver, British Columbia, are deploying a machine learning solution that uses an algorithm to deconstruct crime patterns and help predict future offences. Through spatial analytics, police are able to predict where residential break-and-enters will occur and place police patrols accordingly.


The department first trialed this technology with a pilot that reduced burglary by more than 1/5 month over month. Now they are making the intelligence-led approach common practice.


Jamaica’s AI Based Crime Strategy


StarApple AI is an A.I startup founded in 2020. StarApple’s aim is to make Jamaica the Global HUB for Analytics and A.I innovation.


Why are we looking at crime first?


Based on its undeniable impact on life itself, we see crime reduction as one of the core ways we can improve our society and economy. The question we asked ourselves was – if we were tasked with creating a National Strategy to combat and prevent crime, what would that look like?


StarApple’s Proposal:


1. Where and when to patrol. Crime Prediction.


2. Types of training and equipment to provide to each district based on crime patterns


3. Response time prediction to update procedures to be faster


4. Effectiveness of police officers and processes based on data to improve


5. Pre-emptive policing based on less serious crimes and potential escalation


6. Gang analytics to minimize spread and power grabs.


7. Human-centred Design, to understand and manage the biases that affect how we monitor and make decisions based on location, demographics and instances of crime

Source: Jamaica Observer:

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