Putting more bobbies on the beat really does cut crime – even if they are just police community support officers, research suggests. It found targeting high-crime areas with PCSOs, who have fewer powers than police constables, saved 56 in prison costs for every 10 spent on extra manpower. The officers spent just over ten minutes twice a day patrolling 34 'hot spots' where crimes were statistically more likely to happen. Just having a visible police presence reduced 999 calls by 20 per cent and led to 39 per cent fewer reported crimes, the research found. In all, the extra 21 minutes of patrols a day in the 34 areas cost 50,000 over the year of the study – equivalent to the salaries of two full-time PCSOs.
Document recommendation systems for locating relevant literature have mostly relied on methods developed a decade ago. This is largely due to the lack of a large offline gold-standard benchmark of relevant documents that cover a variety of research fields such that newly developed literature search techniques can be compared, improved and translated into practice. To overcome this bottleneck, we have established the RElevant LIterature SearcH consortium consisting of more than 1500 scientists from 84 countries, who have collectively annotated the relevance of over 180 000 PubMed-listed articles with regard to their respective seed (input) article/s. The majority of annotations were contributed by highly experienced, original authors of the seed articles. The collected data cover 76% of all unique PubMed Medical Subject Headings descriptors. No systematic biases were observed across different experience levels, research fields or time spent on annotations.
The mysterious strandings of 29 healthy young whales on beaches in 2016 have been linked to the Northern Lights, research suggests. A host of theories had been suggested for causing the deaths of the marine giants – including poisoning, climate change, and even sonar from nuclear submarines. But now researchers say that solar storms that create the Northern Lights may have been responsible for the stranding by affecting the whales' ability to navigate. Pictured is a beached sperm whale in the river Forth at Airth which was the 20th to wash up. The new study says these geomagnetic disruptions may have confused the whales' ability to navigate, diverting them into the shallow waters By 1 February 2016 at least 23 whales had been stranded across the coastline of northern Europe and may have come from a single whale pod.
MOSCOW/UFA, RUSSIA – Allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin comfortably won a parliamentary election, early results showed on Monday, but low turnout suggested a softening of enthusiasm for the ruling elite 18 months before the next presidential election. The ruling United Russia party won 51 percent in Sunday's election, according to a preliminary central election commission tally after a quarter of the votes had been counted. That would allow the party, which was founded by Putin and benefits from his popularity, to extend its dominance in the lower house of parliament, or Duma. An exit poll also had United Russia as the overwhelming winner. Putin, speaking to United Russia campaign staff a few minutes after polling stations closed on Sunday night, said the win showed voters still trusted the leadership despite an economic slowdown made worse by Western sanctions over Ukraine.