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The project combines data science and sociology in crime mapping

The project combines data science and sociology in crime mapping

With support from FAPESP, the work is developing mathematical and computational tools that innovatively address issues related to public security

FASB Agency

37 minutes ago


In the coming years, a group of 22 Brazilian researchers and two collaborators from abroad intend to develop mathematical and computational tools that innovatively address issues related to crime, impunity and the legitimacy of institutions responsible for public security in the country.

Selected within the scope of the FAPESP Research Program in e-Science and Data Science, the project “Criminality, insecurity and legitimacy: an interdisciplinary approach“It brings together experts from the fields of data science, computing and social sciences.

The team brings experience and representation from members of two research, innovation and publishing centers (CEPIDs) Powered by FAPESP: Center for Violence Studies (Nev) that it Center for Applied Mathematical Sciences for Industry (CeMEAI).

“This project is a new proposal for joint action between CEPIDs that began in 2016. We can highlight at least three research fronts: legality, impunity, urban and criminal patterns. In addition to these three fronts, the thematic project also presents important lines of work including A data portal for organizing and analyzing information and databases related to crime and interdisciplinary training for students and researchers,” explains the responsible researcher, Luis Gustavo Nonato.

Objectives and results

The methodologies and analytical tools that will be developed in this project will allow complex studies to be conducted in the areas of crime and security, in order to raise and prove new hypotheses.

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“We hope that the results will serve as input for the creation of evidence-based public policies, enabling agents responsible for public security to better plan actions to reduce and prevent specific crimes. Studies should also indicate the main factors associated with fear and insecurity among the population, allowing Using targeted actions to increase the feeling of safety in urban areas, contributing to improving the quality of life and its sustainability,” explains Nonato.

The researcher draws attention to the ethical issue that has been one of the main concerns since the start of the project’s development: “Almost nothing has been done so far to try to understand how accurate the data used by the models that make predictions are.” Mainly, to what extent the indicated outcomes may discriminate in some way against certain social races, social classes, and even urban areas and specific locations. All of this can be greatly influenced by models. How far can we go and how far can we go? How far will we go and what path will we take to avoid as much negative impact as possible on the population with serious social problems? We have to be very careful about this.”

Another goal of the project is to strengthen close relationships between the university, companies and government agencies that work or face issues related to public security.

Scientific Coordinator of NEV, Sergio AdornoHe points to today’s era of crossing disciplinary boundaries: “Data science has a lot to teach us, and we have a lot to teach it as well. The most important thing is that in the end, we can make a diagnosis of the system as a whole, so that we are able to contribute to the reform of the criminal justice system in the medium term.” ​​And the long one. I think we have to be very clear about our role as scholars and intellectuals to produce knowledge, point out problems and, ultimately, suggest directions and solutions.

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*With information from CeMEAI, the research, innovation and dissemination center of FAPESP.