Apply for funding

CrimeRadar — Impact Brief

Introduction

CrimeRadar is a data-driven crime prediction and police management platform. It is designed and developed by the Igarapé Institute, an independent think and do tank committed to citizen, digital and climate security. Since 2020, the Institute has supported data-driven research and evidence-based policy across the Global South. Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, with activities across Latin America and Africa, the Institute was ranked the world’s top social policy think tank by Prospect Magazine in 2019.

CrimeRadar is designed to strengthen evidence-based and accountable policing. CrimeRadar is an integrated dashboard that centralises and visualises data from multiple sources. The platform includes three functions: (1) a crime forecasting algorithm; (2) a web-based dashboard for authorised users displaying retrospective and prospective crime hot spots; and (3) a public-facing visualisation interface intended to promote transparency and accountability. The dashboard features several geographic, demographic and crime-related filters on a simple user-interface, while simultaneously ensuring data protection and privacy.

Use of GIF Funds

GIF is supporting CrimeRadar with USD 1.4 million from 2020 to 2022. CrimeRadar is being piloted in partnership with subnational government authorities in Brazil and South Africa between 2020-2021. Support is directed toward testing the application in Florianopolis and Cape Town, implanting free short-term trials in other locations, and commercialising the final product to ensure a low-cost version is available to law enforcement agencies in low-and middle-income settings around the world.

Specifically, GIF support has contributed to building and testing the front and backend of CrimeRadar. This has included software development (including a prediction algorithm, dashboard, user interface, and public-facing website), protocol development (to ensure accountability and transparency in the deployment of the predictive function, including addressing fairness issues), piloting and deployment (high-intensity six-month pilots), and scaling-up the solution (creating a company to test the product in at least 5 new cities).

Objectives

Help refine an application with operational insights for low cost use by police across developing countries resulting in the reduction of crime in cities through improved police response and management.

Specifically, the project has the following objectives:

  1. Software development -Refine and customise the predictive algorithm, user interface, dashboard, and public facing website to the use case agreed with the Cape Town Metropolitan Police (CTMP)
  2. Documentation -Develop minimum requirements and protocols for transparency and reporting to ensure the algorithm is implemented in a socially accountable way and also develop documentation for deployment in other cities
  3. CTMP Rollout -Implement and test the use of the predictive algorithm within CTMP for at least 6 months
  4. Scale-up -Incorporate a spin-off company and test CrimeRadar in at least 5 additional cities

Impact to Date

CrimeRadar will be piloted throughout 2021. Piloting was expected to begin in 2020 but was delayed due to COVID-19. Since February 2021, CrimeRadar has been tested in partnership with various Cape Town public safety and security departments including CCTV, Safety and Security Directorate, Metropolitan Police, and Traffic and Law Enforcement. CrimeRadar is also being tested in partnership with the state police in Santa Catarina Brazil.