A virtual Sherlock Holmes program which sifts through clues is helping police catch burglars.
The system, devised by University of Sunderland forensic psychologists working with West Midlands Police, looks at data relating to burglaries then plots, displays and links the crimes within a given area and time period.
Dr Brian Ewart, one of the software's developers, explained that police are often unable to make use of the huge amount of data collected at a crime scene.
"Our system focuses on that information and comes to predictive conclusions. Information about how a burglary has been committed might be put together with the burglary history at the premises and information on burglary rates within the area," he said.
The software can look at crime patterns in a particular locality and link them with police intelligence about known local offenders, all of which can help narrow the list of likely suspects.
The program can also help police develop pro-active detection and prevention strategies.
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