Finding a Better Way to Use Cameras to Reduce Crime

Crime rates have dropped following a collaboration between Georgia Tech and the city of Warner Robins, Georgia, that uses a mobile camera platform paired with data-driven, AI guided placement
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Areas of a middle Georgia city have experienced a 20% reduction in crime after deploying a system of mobile cameras guided by an algorithm developed by Georgia Tech researchers.

The system is being piloted in Warner Robins, Georgia. It uses artificial intelligence to sift through years of historical crime data to predict where future crimes are likely to happen, and by placing cameras that can read license plates in those areas, a three-month test period shows the community has been able to prevent some of those crimes.

“The fact that we have our cameras in different areas in our city, that smart technology expands the footprint of our police department which helps us solve crime and also helps deter crime, which is even more beneficial,” said Warner Robins Mayor LaRhonda Patrick.

For cities and counties with limited resources, it’s a tool that could bring more impact with the money and equipment that is already being used to reduce crime.

Georgia Tech’s John Taylor, a professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, says, “When we were brought in, there was a general belief that crimes were really occurring in certain parts of the city, but as we looked at the crimes from week to week, we saw that they're actually moving around the city.”

The work is part of Georgia Tech’s Partnership for Inclusive Innovation, a public-private initiative that catalyzes innovation for shared economic prosperity. It invests in projects that join researchers with communities to bring advanced technologies to build local capacity and improve the human condition.

Over the three months, researchers saw a reduction in crimes such as assault and burglary. Georgia Tech is helping the city deploy a more equitable solution in using cameras to fight crime and helping extend the city’s budget and its police officers’ work to make their community safer.