Law enforcement officers view predictive policing as a way to reduce crime rates and, perhaps, stop crimes before they even occur. Citizens view it with more caution, as a tool with implications for privacy and racial bias. Both views are valid, but the disparity between the two can lead some to wonder whether the technology has really stabilized. Yes, predictive policing technology does fit into the existing infrastructure of law enforcement, but is it truly a step in the right direction?
Then again, predictive policing does seem to work. It has made its way into police departments across the country and has been proven effective, so the technology is currently somewhat stable. But as the technology matures, if its political issues are not addressed, it cannot hope to maintain that closure. Over time, more data will be added to the system, more citizens will be flagged, and more trust issues will arise. In this day and age, it’s inevitable. Citizens, law enforcement, lawmakers, and technology developers will need to come together to develop an efficient, accurate, and ethical way to integrate predictive technologies into existing methods of policing.
To learn more about predictive policing, check out following links:
- National Institute of Justice: Predictive Policing Overview
- Rand Corporation: Predictive Policing, Forecasting Crime for Law Enforcement
- The Economist, “Predictive Policing: Don’t even think about it”
- Also check out this informative video!
- The Verge, “The minority report: Chicago’s new police computer predicts crimes, but is it racist?”
- The Guardian, “Predicting crime, LAPD-style”
- International Journal of Social Science and Humanity, “Expanding Predictive Policing, Enhancing Infiltration Strategies”
- Washington Law Review, “Policing By Numbers: Big Data and the Fourth Amendment”