A front-end application of Intelligence Led Policing (ILP) to reduce harm at crime hot spots: The Melbourne experiment

Dr Justin Ready, Griffith University, Gold Coast

The current policing environment has been described by Jerry Ratcliffe as being information rich but knowledge poor. The inconsistent use of intelligence has led police executives to call for greater use of criminal intelligence for shaping police priorities and operations – an approach defined as Intelligence Led Policing (ILP). Police organizations increasingly have access to real-time data that may provide critical intelligence relating to hot spots, repeat victimization locations, and prolific offenders. To date, many applications of intelligence led policing have been reactive, aimed at providing tactical case support and augmenting traditional operations. However, the intent of ILP is to re-prioritize police resources so that intelligence is used for proactive strategic planning. This project seeks to optimize the deployment of The Victoria Police Force’s Operational Response Unit (ORU) by focusing police resources on a harm reduction effort in crime hot spots to address persistent street-level crime problems.  The intervention consists of three strategies that are designed to optimize the impact and residual deterrent effects of the ORU: 1) focusing proactive patrols in micro locations that have been identified as being persistent crime hots spots; 2) providing frontline officers with weekly Digital Intelligence Briefs (DIBs) on crime hot spots; and 3) implementing new GPS technology that provides automatic GPS alerts (i.e., pinging) when patrol units enter a crime hot spot.


Justin Ready has worked in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith University as a Senior Lecturer since 2016. He received his PhD at Rutgers University, where he served as Project Director in the Centre for Crime Prevention Studies. He later worked as a Senior Research Associate at the Police Foundation in Washington, DC. His research focuses on crime hot spots and the impact of new technology on police practices. He is the 2013 recipient of the Young Experimental Scholar Award and the 2016 recipient of the Award for the Outstanding Experimental Field Trial. Recently, he has studied the effects of active shooter incidents on officer memory/cognition, and the impact of body worn video and GPS technology on police management and operations. His publications have appeared in academic journals such as Criminology, the Journal of Experimental Criminology and Justice Quarterly.

Australia & New Zealand Society of Evidence Based Policing

The Australia & New Zealand Society of Evidence Based Policing (ANZSEBP) was formed in April 2013 in Brisbane, Australia. The ANZSEBP is a police practitioner-led Society. The mission of the ANZSEBP is to develop, disseminate and advocate for police to use scientific research (“the evidence”) to guide best practice in all aspects of policing. The ANZSEBP Chairperson serves on the Executive Board of the British Society of Evidence Based Policing, ensuring that the ANZSEBP works cooperatively with an international group of police to advance evidence based policing.

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