# How Statistical Research Is Improving Public Safety

## by Sumona Services 18 January 2023

These are questions that statistical research can answer for you with greater accuracy than any other method. Although computations are not magic, they can provide some very relevant answers.

Imagine a world where crimes are prevented before they ever happen. It seems like a pipe dream, but that’s just what the field of statistical research is working on. This research uses regression analysis and Bayesian modeling tools to draw causal inferences from observed data.

The efficacy of statistical research has been established in many fields, including medicine, finance, and education. It’s no surprise that the public safety field has significantly benefited from statistical research.

## What is public safety?

Public safety refers to the protection of people, property, and society from dangerous events. These include natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes, criminal events such as murders and robberies, and social events such as riots.

Local governments often run public safety departments, but some countries have national-level departments. The main goal of a public safety department is to reduce the frequency and severity of accidents.

Some organizations use statistics to analyze crime rates to determine which crimes are being committed more frequently so they can better allocate their resources. If you are interested in leading public safety, you can enroll in a master’s degree in law enforcement at Wilfrid Laurier University. The university offers a 100% online post-graduate public safety degree program that gives students the freedom to stay in their current job while earning their master’s degrees.

This program will build a deeper understanding of the social aspects, contemporary issues, and technologies that shape policing today. You will learn about fiscal restraints, professionalization, and technology while learning practical skills such as evidence collection and physical restraint techniques.

## 10 ways statistical research is improving public safety

Before widespread statistical analysis, law enforcement agencies used guesswork to improve their crime-fighting abilities. However, by collecting data and analyzing it with rigorous statistical methods, public safety officials can now understand the true scope of crime in their communities,

This data will help them make more informed decisions about allocating resources and keeping citizens safe. These ten ways statistical research improves public safety will give you an idea of how much this vital field has contributed to society.

### Predictive policing

Statistical research is a powerful tool for finding those who stand out. Police departments worldwide use statistical models to see where crimes are occurring, who is committing them, and what changes in their behavior may explain the difference.

Based on past evidence, statistical research can typically predict where crimes will occur up to two months in the future with greater than 90% accuracy. This is not a guarantee that crimes will occur, but police departments are taking this information and deploying their officers to hot spots before a crime takes place for maximum efficiency and effectiveness. Statistical models forecast where crime is likely to occur by identifying factors that remain relatively constant over time in different geographic locations.

For example, crime may be more likely to occur in a particular neighborhood where more young males live. Data obtained from predictive policing models can help a police department identify new strategies that detect and catch criminals.

With this knowledge, police can target their resources and activities more effectively. Through interactive software, communities can monitor their investments’ impact and make adjustments accordingly.

### Improving community relations

Statistical research can provide community leaders with information that can improve their interactions with the people they serve. Community relations are essential because they give police departments a sense of community and can help ease fears that may arise during tense times.

Using predictive policing to track suspicious spikes in crime gives crews time to deal with the situation proactively. This solution can prevent problems from escalating and potentially prevent people from getting hurt.

If the police want to improve public sentiment toward them, they can determine whether their efforts result in lowered crime rates. If crime is going down, people may feel more positively about them.

Statistical models can help leaders decide future strategies by examining how a community changes over time. That way, their decisions will be based on solid evidence rather than guesswork, which will help them serve the public better.

### Resource allocation

When police departments are strapped for resources, they must decide how to distribute them. If they don’t use the data provided by statistical models to do this, they could end up making decisions that seem rational but turn out to be unwise.

For example, one department may decide that the best way to reduce crime is by patrolling certain areas more frequently than others. They may make this decision because their officers have a better relationship with the community in those locations.

That might sound like a good idea, but it may not be the most effective approach. If areas, where officers have a good relationship with the public, are not seeing a reduction in crime, the department needs to find an opportunity to use its time and resources more effectively.

A more effective method might be targeting areas where crimes occur more frequently. The department can do this by looking at statistical models that show crime patterns over time and adjusting patrols accordingly.

### Anticipating natural disasters

Statistical models let emergency crews know where natural disasters are most likely to occur and their effects. The warning allows cities to take appropriate precautions and get people out of harm’s way.

Presenting them with a series of statistical models that show different aspects of a disaster will enable them to decide how to respond. With more advanced models, emergency officials can predict where natural disasters are most likely to occur and work best as part of their preparations.

Government agencies can use statistical modeling to determine how prepared a city is for flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. This knowledge helps cities prepare for the worst and reduces damage from catastrophes so everyone can stay safe.

By using estimates of population density, the likelihood of destruction, and data about what has been happening, experts can generate risk maps showing where destruction is likely to occur.

Additionally, statistical models can show how much training and resources are needed to prepare a city for a natural disaster. Using this information to make accurate predictions, emergency crews can plan and organize their resources for use.

### Assessing environmental risks

Environmental risks are yet another area where statistical models can prove helpful. They involve everything from the safety of medicine to proper waste disposal.

Environmental risks like pollution can cause serious health problems, such as respiratory diseases. Statistical research can help predict where and when such risks are likely to occur so they can be mitigated before they cause severe effects.

By looking at environmental data over time, statistical models can tell scientists what toxic components of a particular environment have the highest risk of causing harm. This information allows them to create predictive equations showing when the most significant risks occur.

With enough statistical data, data analysts can develop models to help identify populations at risk of developing these diseases. This analysis will help the public by providing them with advice about protecting themselves from harmful toxins, which may prevent future illnesses.

### Looking at the police clear-up rate to measure police efficiency

A higher clear-up rate will show that police are doing their jobs effectively and efficiently. Reducing crime is helpful for everyone, but if they do not also reduce the time it takes to solve crimes, the police are not using their resources efficiently.

It only takes a few minutes for officers to write reports and send them to their superiors. Using statistical models can help police departments measure their efficiency by looking at those reports over time and showing whether crime is going down or up.

For example, if there are more reports of violent crime, the department will know that they need to do more. For example, they may need to increase patrols or invest in better forensic technology.

It will help them ensure they are using taxpayer money wisely by trying to do more with what they already have.

### To assess the effectiveness of new programs and policy initiatives

Statistical models give police departments a way of measuring their performance over time, which is essential for making improvements where necessary. For example, suppose a department decides to start doing something different based on anecdotal evidence. In that case, statistical models can provide complex data about whether the new approach is working. For example, one department may reduce ticketing rates for minor infringements because it thinks this will improve relationships with the public and lead to greater crime reporting.

A statistical model can show whether this approach works by comparing crime and ticketing rates. If the statistical model offers a correlation, the department will know that it has made the right decision to start writing fewer tickets. If not, it may need to bring its officers back into line.

### Improving traffic safety

Statistical models can help improve traffic safety. For example, every year, the U.S. Department of Transportation collects data on people injured in car accidents based on how fast they are driving.

This data can be used to assess whether cars travel too fast for road conditions and therefore have a higher risk of causing accidents. With more sophisticated models, the department can make better predictions about which roads need their speed limits reduced.

If one department enforces new speed limits in a particular area, it may need to adjust its surveillance methods. The department may need to keep more detailed statistics on the times of day when people are speeding. They can use statistical models to show that the new speed limits have the desired effect and whether any particular region has an increased risk of accidents.

### Studying the impact of social policies

Social policies refer to any official decision made by the local, state, or federal government that may affect the public somehow. For example, one social policy would be banning smoking in restaurants and bars.

Such a policy can have significant effects on the public and can save a lot of lives. A statistical model could be used to assess the ban’s effectiveness.

By running such an assessment, you can determine whether it has reduced the number of people who die prematurely due to lung cancer and heart disease. The model could also show the state’s return on investment.

If a state sees that it is getting a significant return on investment from this policy, it will know that it has made the right decision. It will continue to enforce this policy to protect its citizens from harmful toxic chemicals found in second-hand smoke, and other jurisdictions may follow suit.

They may also have to increase patrolling numbers by encouraging citizens to call them if they see anyone smoking. This will help them measure their success in reducing smoking prevalence and health costs.

### To provide the public with information about crime patterns

Statistical models can help members of the public understand what crime is occurring, where and when. For example, one town may see a lot of auto thefts in the summer, and it could be related to vacationers.

Another town may see more property crime during the winter when it is colder, which is likely related to lower tourism and slower times for tourism-based businesses. Another town may see more crime in certain areas, which could be related to social networks or other environmental variables.

This can help the public by providing them with a higher level of safety because they have more knowledge about potential threats and how to avoid them. With statistical data insights, they can make informed decisions about their daily lives and keep themselves and other people safe.

## The bottom line

Police departments all over the country are in dire need of ways to cut costs and improve efficiency, but they don’t want to put public safety at risk in the process. This is where statistical models can be incredibly helpful.

By using these models, police departments can provide valuable information to their communities with minimal effort. They can also better allocate their time and resources based on statistics about where and when a crime occurs, who commits it, and how it is committed.