This is part one of a series about Smarter Public Safety. Read part two here.
by Christopher Padilla, Vice President of Government Programs for IBM
If you live in or around Washington, D.C., you have seen first hand how better public safety can help to improve local economies. Once known as the “Murder Capital” of the U.S., the homicide rate has dropped to a 50-year low in our capital city. This kind of dramatic turnaround has helped the city become a focal point for economic growth. I’d urge you to read Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier’s latest post to the Smarter Planet blog to learn more about what D.C., is doing to curb crime and foster economic growth.
Today, IBM’s Institute of Business Value released a paper on how a smarter approach to managing public safety can jumpstart economic development. This paper outlines how cities can curb crime and foster economic growth.
Every day, local governments are challenged with ensuring they create a safe environment to not only protect the safety of their citizens, but also promote economic growth.
Here are just a few examples of how crime can have an impact on the Gross Domestic Product of certain countries:
- The annual cost of youth involvement in organized crime in the United States is approximately $465 billion or 3% of GDP
- In the United Kingdom, the annual cost of crime per household is £3,000
- The direct of crime in Brazil is 3-5% of its GDP
- Total crime costs in after including other medical, institutional, private security, economic costs and transfers in South Africa is 7.8% of its GDP
At IBM, we believe public safety has a strong affect on quality of life and migration decisions, especially of highly skilled individuals. In addition, crime can erode human capital through injury and death of workers. To that end, we have identified five key competencies that will help to reduce crime and, in turn, increase a city’s economic viability:
- Start on the journey to developing smarter public safety management system for your organization by knowing what data you already have and improving access to it.
- Once you have improved access to data, focus on co-coordinating and integrating information in your organization.
- Then focus your efforts on enhancing situational awareness by putting usable information into the hands of responders
- Enable proactive planning and intelligence based decision making by use analytics to make better use of available information
- Collaborate across borders and share information to created a unified threat assessment and response capability
In short, better public safety makes locations more attractive for individuals to visit, positively impacting tourism revenue and activity. A smarter public safety system means a healthier economic outlook.