Victoria Police selects SAS Institute to build data analytics system

SAS Institute Australia has been contracted to build a data analytics system for Victoria Police.

The Victorian government has tasked data analytics company SAS Institute Australia with developing software that connects disparate police databases such as Leap and Interpose so that greater intelligence can be drawn from them.

The system is expected to cut the time it takes for Victoria Police's 600-plus crime analysts to connect the dots down from hours to minutes.

Once the disparate databases are connected, the police force will be able to use the system to link people, events, vehicles, properties, and activities, as well as ingest "open-source social media" to pair up with police information, and better identify and predict local crime trends and hotspots.

"Police have vast amounts of information. This new system connects it, analyses it, and puts it at their fingertips so they can fight all types of crime much more quickly," said Victorian Minister for Police Lisa Neville. "This will give Victoria the best law-enforcement intelligence system in Australia. We are delivering more police, tough new laws, and the latest in crime-fighting technology to keep the community safe.''

More databases will be connected to the data analytics system in 2018. The system is part of the state government's AU$227 million investment in police technology to upgrade the police force.

In a 2014 report [PDF], Victoria Police acknowledged that it was struggling to meet the demands of the public, and that inadequate investment in technology had "left Victoria Police in the twentieth century".

As part of the upgrade, it was announced that front-line officers would be armed with body-worn video cameras to allow them to capture footage in the line of duty, and would also receive tablets in a bid to reduce time spent in the office filling out paperwork.

In November, digital solutions provider Civica announced that it had locked down a AU$103.6 million contract with the Victorian Department of Justice to build a custom infringements enforcement and warrants management system with ongoing support for eight years.