Intelligent software helps reduce drug-related crime

The London borough of Croydon’s Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) is using SAS business intelligence and analytics software to achieve better results in its efforts to get more people into drug treatment, reduce drug-related crime and empower the local community to resist drug misuse.

Jul 9, 2009
By Paul Jacques

The London borough of Croydon’s Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) is using SAS business intelligence and analytics software to achieve better results in its efforts to get more people into drug treatment, reduce drug-related crime and empower the local community to resist drug misuse.
The software gives the DAAT greater insight to commission services more effectively and target the borough’s resources to where they can have the biggest impact.
It delivers a more ‘joined-up’ approach to allocating treatment across various agencies, which results in the most effective treatment being more quickly assigned to users who really need it.
A multi-agency public sector partnership, Croydon’s DAAT, unites representatives from the police and criminal justice system, local council, health service, and the voluntary sector. SAS’ software helps the DAAT to plan treatment modernisation services that deliver effective treatment structures for substance misuse and ensures that the work of local agencies and cross-agency projects are integrated successfully.
The software also helps the DAAT to automate statutory ‘Green Reports’ for the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System as well as key performance indicator (KPI) reporting against national Home Office targets, which improves operational effectiveness at a local level by cutting administration time from over a week to just half a day.
Ray Rajagopalan, data manager at Croydon’s DAAT, explained: “By using SAS software, we can analyse the success and failure of specific treatment programmes and see whether our treatment structure actually meets the needs of the local population.
“It saves us time by being able to immediately detect weaknesses in the system rather than waiting a year or more before an issue becomes apparent. Having that ability to pre-empt problems and to do things at a much quicker pace enables early indicators to be identified and corrective action to be taken far sooner in the reporting cycle.
“SAS software enables DAAT decision-makers to get on with sorting out problems, making changes and re-allocating resources, to improve the local treatment system and provide more effective frontline services.”
With SAS software, the DAAT can perform analysis in line with national KPIs for drug treatments, monitor the local agencies’ performances and explore new ways to deliver improved treatment structures within their tight budgets.
Before, the DAAT used basic spreadsheet tools such as Microsoft Excel and Access, which were unable to manage its growing volumes of data or quickly provide the comprehensive analysis needed.
Mr Rajagopalan added: “Having proper analytics from SAS provides us with a range of benefits that we never had before. It is improving the timescales required to produce comprehensive analysis.”

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