An exploration of crime prediction using data mining on open data

Ginger Saltos, Mihaela Cocea

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The increase in crime data recording coupled with data analytics resulted in the growth of research approaches aimed at extracting knowledge from crime records to better understand criminal behaviour and ultimately prevent future crimes. While many of these approaches make use of clustering and association rule mining techniques, there are fewer approaches focusing on predictive models of crime. In this paper we explore models for predicting the frequency of several types of crimes by LSOA code (Lower Layer Super Output Areas – an administrative system of areas used by the UK police) and the frequency of anti-social behaviour crimes. Three algorithms are used from different categories of approaches: instance-based learning, regression and decision trees. The data are from the UK police and contain over 600,000 records before preprocessing. The results, looking at predictive performance as well as processing time, indicate that decision trees (M5P algorithm) can be used to reliably predict crime frequency in general, as well as anti-social behaviour frequency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1155-1181
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Information Technology and Decision Making
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2017


  • crime prediction
  • data mining
  • open data
  • regression
  • decision trees
  • instance-based learning


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