Optimising Police Locations

Introduction

I’m Genevieve Durham from Dyson Perrins Academy and on the week commencing 15th July 2019, I had my work experience at Process Evolution. I worked on a project looking at Optimising Police Locations. I came to Process Evolution as I was eager to experience a semi-formal office setting, and I also wanted to see what sort of work I’d be expected to complete to give me an idea about future job prospects.

My project focused on working with Process Evolution’s Facility Location Planner (FLP). This is an Excel-based model that assesses a range of different factors and statistics in order to come up with the optimal locations for chosen facilities. FLP allows the users to account for a number of factors. These may include including population and spread of areas; the maximum distance between facilities and demand based on areas with higher crime rates.

 

Project Overview

My project focused on the locations of Public-facing Police contact points for West Mercia Police, the force in which I live. These locations are stations which citizens can walk in and report a crime. By comparing the current locations to the optimal locations determined by FLP it is possible to determine how well situated the stations are.

 

Optimising Police Locations

The first thing I did at the start of work experience was complete a map quiz. In this I had to try and decide where the optimal places were for if there had to be 1-6 stations in order to get the most coverage and affect the most people. I found this relatively straight-forward for the location of the first couple of sites. However when asked to put locations for 5 and 6 stations this became a lot more complex. Although the score I got was good, it was interesting to see that there was still quite a difference between my answers and the ‘Optimal outputs’.

 

Different Metrics may point to different solutions

The first thing that I found interesting when Optimising Police Locations was the answers determined from FLP are very much dependent on the question posed. The figures below show the difference solutions that each approach would choose in Optimising Police Locations.

Options around Optimising Performance

For example, when optimising police locations maximising performance against a 15mins target the station may be positioned outside of the main area of demand (A) in order to bring more incidents in target, this would be good for performance but may increase the average response time

 

Comparing Current Locations to Optimal

Facility Location Planner gives the ability to display the different options on a map.

Optimal Locations of Contact Points

Optimal Locations

Location of Current Stations

Current Locations

 

In this instance, it shows that the current placements of the stations are reasonably close to the optimal locations. Therefore these wouldn’t needn’t be changed. However, if the optimal locations were discovered to be completely different to the actual then you may wish to look at changing bases.

 

My Learnings

This week I’ve had to use and improve on a plethora of crucial skills that are often required in working environments– not limited to just being useful in office settings either. I’ve had to work on my time management skills, which previously had been really poor, but over the week have improved for the tasks I’ve been doing, which proves to me that I can be efficient when I need to be, which is obviously very important in work.

I’ve also had to write up presentations on PowerPoint, and with written communication being extremely important in things like communicating with customers, employers, and creating CVs, I think that this has been a useful skill to be able to improve upon. I had to take on a level of responsibility for my work in order to get it finished and make it neat and clear. I also think that this week will be good to look back on as a reference of a fairly formal office setting for the future, and to also help prepare me for how early you have to get up and how long the days are.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, this week at Process Evolution has helped me develop and identify a wealth of skills that I’m sure I’ll need in the future when I’m interested in getting a job. This work experience has been a good opportunity for me to take on a project where I had to undertake the responsibility to get each objective completed and written up by the end of each day.