Using data to analyse crime

Dr Michael Townsley

Monitoring patterns of crime with world class information systems is putting day-to-day decision making in Chile ahead of countries like Australia according to Senior Lecturer Dr Michael Townsley.

Senior lecturer Dr Townsley said he was impressed with the standard of analysis and operation of policing in Chile.

“They have invested heavily in a world class information system that allows deep insights into patterns in crime,” he said.

Part of a lineup of renown criminological scholars at the International Summit on Scientific Criminal Analysis in Chile, Dr Townsley presented to police leaders and intelligence analysts from South American police agencies.

“Crime analysts are subject to cognitive biases in the course of interpreting the criminal environment,” Michael said.

“I demonstrated how a technique called Analysis of Competing Hypotheses can be used by analysts and their managers to avoid three of the most pervasive cognitive biases and make better assessments to inform decision making.”