New Police Database Revolutionises Statistical Analysis

A new database revolutionises access to crime and user satisfaction data from each Police Force in England and Wales. The system, called the Police National Statistics Database (PNSD), began running on a trial basis last December and was launched on June 4. Out of the 43 police forces in England and Wales, 40 have already signed up to it. PNSD is the brainchild of the PNLD team, who are also responsible for and the national Police FAQ database.

Previously, all of the police forces submitted monthly statistics spreadsheets to the UK Home Office, including data on crime and user satisfaction results taken from surveys of victims of crimes including burglary, road traffic collisions etc. This data was then collated and published by the Home Office's crime statistics data base called iQuanta. However, this was in pre-formatted PDF reports, making any additional or ad hoc analysis difficult and time consuming.

The PNSD system allows each force to upload a copy of their monthly and quarterly spreadsheets directly to the PNSD system, where it is validated and stored. Spreadsheets are processed, automatically, as they arrive.

The PNSD system is based on FoundationsTM, PDMS' own .Net-based software development framework which allows high performance applications to be customised to meet specific needs faster, cheaper and better than bespoke or off-the-shelf solutions. There are three key functional areas to the system: submission; parsing and querying.

Police forces can download any spreadsheet, or select specific aspects of the data, for analysis over time and geographically. This information is downloaded in a spreadsheet format very similar to the original spreadsheet for ease of use in analysis.

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