IBM Big Data helps Camden Borough reduce crime

14 August 2015

The London Borough of Camden has enlisted IBM to deploy its Big Data analytics framework in a bid to track and serve its citizens. The new system will collect a wealth of information on residents which can be – by policy dictated relevant users – leveraged for a number of different ends.

The London Borough of Camden is nestled in the central region of London, and is run by the Camden London Borough Council local authority. The borough was created in 1965 and was named after the iconic Camden Town. The borough has roughly 200,000 residents.

In a bid to save tax-payer money, the Borough is seeking ways in which it can reduce the level of crime in the region. For this purpose, it is enacting an ‘invest to save’ project, with the aim of collecting a wide range of data into a single source, such that the council has a better grasp of citizens in its authority. It has introduced a robust data governance framework which allows it to have a wide view of relevant information on and about citizen – including data from Electoral Services, Housing and Council Tax Services. “Big Data is revolutionising the way we work across the borough, reducing crime and saving money just when public services are facing huge funding cuts,” explains Camden Councillor, Theo Blackwell.

IBM Big Data helps Camden Borough serve citizens

Through the bundling of personally identifying information the council is able to create a system to better monitor, track and police citizens – thereby, for instance, preventing fraud and ensure services only go to the residents and households who are entitled to them. To prevent data abuse, which has historically been a real threat to the safety of citizens, the framework only allows access to the information by authorised users whose view of total information is permissions controlled by current policies.

The development of the system, which has been called the ‘Residents Index’, is based on IBM’s Big Data Analytics, which is able to match information about residents with a wide range of sources and protect the gathered data which is stored and managed appropriately across key systems in 16 locations across London. The Big Data Analytics technology uses IBM’s InfoSphere Platform, which is a set of foundational building blocks of trusted information, and leverages Watson Foundations, which let users find and capitalise on actionable insights.