More Law Enforcement Agencies Turning To “Pre-Crime” Policing
Law experts warn of threat to reasonable suspicion
July 30, 2012
Police and other law enforcers in the US are increasingly turning to ‘Minority Report’ style “pre-crime” strategies to fight crimes by predicting them before they take place.
A report out today from the AFP notes that “predictive analytics” software, computer algorithms that predict where and when patterns of crimes will occur, has been adopted by police departments from Santa Cruz, California, to Memphis, Tennessee.
Law enforcement agencies in Washington D.C. are already using a software database developed by the University of Pennsylvania that they claim can predict when crimes will be committed and who will commit them, before they actually happen.
Officials in some areas claim to have seen up to a 30 percent drop in serious crime since adopting the technology.
The technology sifts through a database of thousands of crimes and uses algorithms and different variables, such as geographical location, criminal records and ages of previous offenders, to come up with predictions of where, when, and how a crime could possibly be committed and by who.
The program operates without any direct evidence that a crime will be committed, it simply takes datasets and computes possibilities.