Geographical analysis tools are giving Group 4 Securicor the ability to plot the incidence of attacks on its crews, to identify risk patterns and trends, and to deploy its resources more efficiently.

Group 4 Securicor is a UK supplier of high-security services and is the number one operator of cash in transit services for businesses such as banks and shops. The company wanted an advanced system for plotting the number of attacks mounted on its vehicles over time, and for identifying clusters of attacks in given areas. The objective was to enhance its existing risk assessment capability, and to develop more effective strategies for timing and routing its vehicles and deploying surveillance teams or other counter-measures.

The MapMechanics software used includes the GeoConcept Professional geographic information system, NAVTEQ street-level vector mapping, and Code-Point postcode data for precise identification of locations.

The company already kept a database of attacks on its crews, and has been able to use the MapMechanics tools to pinpoint the location of each one. Details recorded include the date, time, place and type of attack.

Using GeoConcept’s auto-correlation feature, the company has been able to find all incidents falling within a 2-mile radius of any other, and by this means to identify incident “hot spots”. It has then used GeoConcept’s thematic mapping capabilities to shade areas according to the number of incidents. Three colour codes have been devised – yellow for lower risk, orange for medium risk and red for high risk.

The company has also been able to plot customer locations on maps, and see whether they fall within known high-risk hot spots.

Naeem Minhas, the company’s intelligence analyst, explains: “This has enabled us to build much more accurate risk profiles than in the past for given locations or types of operation.” He said it has become easier, for instance, to differentiate between planned “professional” attacks and opportunistic attacks and to deploy different types of surveillance accordingly.