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The Independent: Is crime prediction software the way forward for modern policing? Or biased against minorities?

November 22, 2016

  • 23 November 2016
  • Posted by: Jane Piazer
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By Justin Jouvenal

Is PredPol the 'holy grail' of crime prevention or are its secret algorithims targeting civil liberties and minority groups?

Sergeant Charles Coleman popped out of his police SUV and scanned a trash-strewn street popular with the city's homeless, responding to a crime that hadn't yet happened. It wasn't a 911 call that brought the Los Angeles Police Department officer to this spot, but a whirring computer crunching years of crime data to arrive at a prediction: a car theft or burglary would probably occur near here on this particular morning.

Hoping to head it off, Coleman inspected a line of ramshackle RVs used for shelter by the homeless, roused a man sleeping in a pickup truck and tapped on the side of a shack made of plywood and tarps. “How things going, sweetheart?” he asked a woman who ambled out. Coleman listened sympathetically as she described how she was nearly raped at knifepoint months earlier, saying the area was “really tough” for a woman. Full article

Category:News
Country:United Kingdom
Language:English
Year:2016
Institution:The Independent
Author:Justin Jouvenal
Categories: News
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