Use of real-world data analytics to gain insight into suicidal behaviour in public places

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Recently in Northern Ireland, there has been a rise in incidents of actual and attempted sucide along a stretch of river and three nearby bridges. The aim of this research is to integrate and analyse data to better understand crisis behaviour in public places. Data from 2017-2019 were analysed including CCTV logs describing incidents of suicidal behaviour, incident reports from a local search and rescue charity, and footfall data from one of the bridges. Exploratory data analysis was carried out to look for trends in incidents. The relationship between footfall and incidents was determined by analysis over months and days with no incidents versus days with one or more incidents. During the 3-year period, 2,466 CCTV incidents and 1,285 search and rescue incidents were recorded. The majority of search and rescue incidents were males (60%), most commonly aged 16-25, and 33% were under the influence of alcohol. Year-on-year, there were no identifiable patterns in incidents across seasons or months. Altogether, incidents were highest in the summer months, peaking at the weekend, mostly in the early hours of Sunday morning. Over half (56%) occurred around the three bridges along the river, while the rest of incidents occurred at other riverine locations. There was no discernible relationship between incidents of suicidal behaviour and footfall on one particular bridge. The present study highlights analyses that can be used to gain insights into crisis behaviour trends in public places, which could play a critical role in preventing suicides by jumping or drowning.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2 Jun 2021
EventInstitute of Mental Health Sciences Conference: Mental Health Across the Life-course - Online
Duration: 2 Jun 20212 Jun 2021


ConferenceInstitute of Mental Health Sciences Conference
Abbreviated titleIMHS


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