The PROVE utility provides a free tool for police departments to make geographic forecasts of crime risk. The utility was created by a team of researchers from Temple University’s Center for Security and Crime Science and developers from Azavea, the parent company of HunchLab, with funding from a National Institute of Justice grant. (Note that funding does not indicate endorsement).
Locations of future crime hotspots are approximated using both long-term and short-term crime indicators. The short-term indicator is calculated from recent crime data and is informed by a near-repeat analysis of the previous year to indicate how recent events increase the risk for subsequent events. The long-term crime indicator is calculated by calibrating a regression model that uses census data from the American Community Survey (ACS) to model community factors that may contribute to long-term crime levels.
The program enables police departments and other agencies across the country to use geocoded crime data in combination with freely available census data to create micro-spatial estimates of future criminal activity at the local level. The output of the utility is a simple map of statistically significant areas of high risk. The analysis outputs are provided as both an interactive web map (as seen below) and a GeoTIFF raster format for use in other GIS software.