SA Company To Use Artificial Intelligence To Predict Crime

Solution House Software director, Tiaan Janse van Rensburg.
Solution House Software director, Tiaan Janse van Rensburg.
Solution House Software director, Tiaan Janse van Rensburg.

Stop crime before it even happens? Sounds a bit far fetched due to the unpredictable nature of the beast but Cape-Town based software and solution developer, Solution House Software, may have just cracked the code.

Designed to predict and map potential crimes, Solution House Software has announced the launch of their new artificial intelligence (AI) module for Incident Desk.

Solution House Software director, Tiaan Janse van Rensburg, says the Incident Desk Predictive Analysis module will initially focus solely on crime, but future versions may be expanded to include other industries such as facility management and maintenance. The narrow focus according to Janse van Rensburg will “allows us to achieve better results and hone the AI engine even further to apply it to other incident management areas.”

Incident Desk uses a multi-tenant model which combines numerous customer areas, properties and buildings into one solution. This includes urban areas, central improvement districts, neighbourhood watch initiatives, estates, shopping malls and even schools.

“Because Incident Desk is built on a multi-tenant model, it allows us to develop this type of technology and make it available affordably across the user base,” he says. “The other advantage is that, because we’re multi-tenant at almost every site, we get to use many different data feeds that makes this type of technology much more predictable and accurate.

One of the biggest problems currently plaguing public safety and security are the ‘islands of data’ that are not being shared or centralised, which makes it difficult to data mine and analyse.

The Incident Desk Predictive Analysis module uses machine learning technology developed by Solution House together with aggregated data from multiple information sources to determine the likelihood of different types of criminal activity in the Incident Desk management area.

“With the module installed, Incident Desk generates 7 and 30-day forecasts as heat maps based on crime types and incident probabilities that managers can use to optimise their finite security resources,” says Janse van Rensburg.

“Crime is notoriously difficult to predict, but given that Incident Desk can access so many different types of data – including weather patterns and forecasts and historical data – the results are based on fairly accurate and proven trending algorithms,” her says.

“What’s more, the technology we developed is self-learning, which means Incident Desk continuously reviews, corrects and refines its predictions. That means that, over time, results will necessarily become more accurate, to the point where we hope that managers can resource themselves correctly and prevent or eliminate certain types of crime entirely from their areas.”

Incident Desk is a universal service request and incident mapping and management platform that provides facility, security and urban managers – along with their organisations, partners and customers – with real-time incident alerts. This allows for the recording and live reporting of incidents with a unique smartphone app that makes it one of the only fully mobile-enabled incident management systems on the market today.

According to Janse van Rensburg, an important distinction with regards the new Predictive Analysis module is that results will only ever be available to managers and their support staff.

“The type of information generated by the module is highly sensitive, and is therefore limited to restricted personnel,” he says. “Incident Desk will function normally – with residents in a managed area still able to report incidents by phoning their security service provider control room or through the smartphone app if they use it – but information like crime analysis and prediction will be strictly delivered to the relevant management personnel only.”

“The good news is that we’re planning to launch to all our current customers for free, on a trial basis, after which we’ll phase in a subscription model for long-term use.”

The Incident Desk Predictive Analysis module will be available to all current South African multi-tenant customers towards the end of May. Solution House will announce a release date for its UK customers later this year.

Staff Writer