Future technologies for predicting crime and preventive policing - which are being used today
At the end of August this year there was a public outcry in the country following the comments of the Police Commissioner on police's attitude towards the Ethiopian population. He said: "In all the studies in the world, migrants have been shown to be more involved in crime than others, and young people are more involved in crime. These two factors intermingle, creating the situation that one community is statistically more involved in crime than other communities.
Naturally, when a cop encounters a suspect - his brain suspects him more than he would suspect if he were someone else, it is natural. "The MP added:" We have delayed recognizing that there is a problem of over-policing with the community, and this year we are working with community leaders to reduce it ".
The commander's remarks sparked a renewed debate on an old issue. If we have prior statistical knowledge of crime at a particular population concentration - would it be better to bring greater policing forces to the crime-prone area to prevent it? Wouldn't the mere introduction of police officers create a greater friction that would only increase Moreover, is there any reason to leave judgment and "gut feeling" about the suspicion of a person of particular origin by a single police officer, who according to the commissioner "his brain suspects more than he would have suspected? Someone else"?
In recent years, several police agencies, primarily in the United States, have begun to use computing technologies designed to predict and locate people prone to crime before committing the crime itself. This is called Predictive Policing. And for potential victims, among others, the computer makes a hot list (Heat List) Of persons most likely to be involved in murder or shooting.
The algorithm that produces the list of people who are likely to commit crimes is based on data such as past offenses, social affiliation, age, drug use and more. It is important to note that the system is not fed by gender, race, origin and area of residence. By producing a report of offenders, the officer can allegedly act to prevent crime without relying on gut feelings or prejudice. When a person identified for the crime is identified, police and even social workers are sent before the crime itself, with the aim of preventing it.
Predicting crime before it is committed is a motif that has stirred the minds of science fiction writers for many years. As early as 1948, author George Orwell wrote in his 1984 book on the "Big Brother" "thought police" reading your hidden intentions even before you made them. In the science fiction movie "Special Report" (this is a police prediction, according to which people with special abilities predict the murder case even before it was committed. Unlike movies and books, "police prediction" nowadays deals with statistics and is based on existing data and not on visions Or super powers In the event that a person is likely to commit a crime he is not arrested before a crime but supervised at a higher level.
Police Prediction is implemented in several US states including California, Washington, South Carolina, Arizona, Tennessee and Illinois. Its purpose is not only stopping the criminal but also predicting future victims of crime and protecting them before committing their offense. Police prediction has of course been very controversial, Questions about how effective it is at preventing the crime victim from being harmed In a study by a nonprofit called RAND on the police's prediction system Chicago Police, Findings show that the system did not save lives at all.
The site The Verge Reports that RAND researchers have access to system data, participated in internal sessions, and also viewed the ways in which the system was used. They found that the system was not used extensively to provide social assistance to people on the hot list, and instead was used by Chicago police to focus and find people for arrests after the crime was committed. It is important to note that the study was carried out on a very early system of police prediction (1 version). The Chicago police are now working with the 5 version of the system they say works much more efficiently (according to 3). In addition, the study did not examine the forecast itself but only focused on the effect of the actual prediction.
Although the system itself is not based on sectarian or geographical data, it is certainly based on past crime data, so pre-entered information may have biased data to the detriment of certain populations who experienced over-policing in the years before the establishment of that system. It is possible that a system that is fed with biased data causes police officers to search for the offenders "under the flashlight." However, the manner in which such a system operates may minimize the phenomenon of over-policing in some communities as it accumulates and provides more reliable and objective information in the future.
While disagreement about the current effectiveness of a police prediction system, it may work more reliably to locate a delinquent offender - compared to a police officer acting according to his feelings and private worldview. Perhaps a system fed by objective crime data could have prevented "over-policing" and friction with a population based on its origin and sectarian affiliation.