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Open AccessReview

Analysing the Police Patrol Routing Problem: A Review

Department of Geography, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Department of Criminology, Criminal Law and Social Law, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Research Foundation–Flanders (FWO), 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Department of Geography, University of Tartu, 51014 Tartu, Estonia
College of Civil Aviation, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing 210016, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9(3), 157;
Received: 6 January 2020 / Revised: 18 February 2020 / Accepted: 6 March 2020 / Published: 9 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Crime Mapping and Analysis Using GIS)
Police patrol is a complex process. While on patrol, police officers must balance many intersecting responsibilities. Most notably, police must proactively patrol and prevent offenders from committing crimes but must also reactively respond to real-time incidents. Efficient patrol strategies are crucial to manage scarce police resources and minimize emergency response times. The objective of this review paper is to discuss solution methods that can be used to solve the so-called police patrol routing problem (PPRP). The starting point of the review is the existing literature on the dynamic vehicle routing problem (DVRP). A keyword search resulted in 30 articles that focus on the DVRP with a link to police. Although the articles refer to policing, there is no specific focus on the PPRP; hence, there is a knowledge gap. A diversity of approaches is put forward ranging from more convenient solution methods such as a (hybrid) Genetic Algorithm (GA), linear programming and routing policies, to more complex Markov Decision Processes and Online Stochastic Combinatorial Optimization. Given the objectives, characteristics, advantages and limitations, the (hybrid) GA, routing policies and local search seem the most valuable solution methods for solving the PPRP. View Full-Text
Keywords: dynamic vehicle routing problem; solution methods; algorithm; (meta)heuristic; reactive and proactive police patrol dynamic vehicle routing problem; solution methods; algorithm; (meta)heuristic; reactive and proactive police patrol
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Dewinter, M.; Vandeviver, C.; Vander Beken, T.; Witlox, F. Analysing the Police Patrol Routing Problem: A Review. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9, 157.

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