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Thread: Predictive Policing

  1. #1
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    Default Predictive Policing

    Geography & Public Safety, March 2011
    Contents
    • Police Legitimacy and Predictive Policing

    • The Predictive Policing Symposium: A Strategic Discussion

    • Proactive Policing: Using Geographic Analysis to Fight Crime

    • Experimenting with Future-Oriented Analysis at Crime Hot Spots in Minneapolis

    • Geospatial Technology Working Group (TWG): Meeting Report on Predictive Policing

    • Technical Tips

    • News Briefs

    • Geography and Public Safety Events

  2. #2
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Jed, thanks for posting this. Really interesting concept "Predictive Policing."

  3. #3
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Default

    Second city cop has some rather pungent comments about the "crystal ball" unit the CPD has been using.

    Added to help:http://www.secondcitycop.blogspot.com/ and is currently the third item 'Spring is Still Here'.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-18-2011 at 10:17 AM. Reason: Added link
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Default Prediction

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
    Second city cop has some rather pungent comments about the "crystal ball" unit the CPD has been using.
    The Crystal Ball Unit had their legs knocked out from under them yesterday.

  5. #5
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Prediction or Analysis?

    I have watched the developing debate around attempts to predict for a long time, which has become part of the so-called intelligence-led policing model and can be cited as a gain from using analysis / data-mining.

    Taken from a paper by a US data-mining presentation:
    X PD used data mining as a tool for determining how best to position police assets in anticipation of crime. Allocating assets so as to increase police presence where a particular incident is expected, for example, might help to prevent crime. She provided two examples of what she considered to be effective data analysis. One involved the application of supervised learning to the problem of random gun fire on New Year’s Eve. Data analysis was used to identify the times and places where the most incidents occurred. This information permitted local police to deploy officers strategically, resulting in a 47% reduction in the number of reported incidents and a reduction in personnel costs.
    Link:http://www.detecter.eu/index.php?opt...&id=7&Itemid=9 within summary of the Zurich meeting on data mining.

    One of the biggest issues around prediction and analysis is the data available, there is a considerable difference between actual / reported / recorded incidents and crimes. In the UK for example to officers dismay a large proportion of house burglaries are not reported. We have learnt, sometimes painfully, that low-level quality of life issues are far more important to the public than what the police want to do, such as "fighting crime".
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-18-2011 at 10:47 AM.
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    Default Tails I win. Heads you lose.

    From your quoted article it seems that if the data mining predicts a crime and an arrest is made a crystal ball is successful. If nothing happens the crystal ball prevented a crime. Another success.

    I have seen New Years Eve shooting cut down significantly from one year to the next. This reduction has to do with putting 300 police in a complex. This deployment does not happen until the swells move into the area.

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    Default Predictive Policing bandwagon

    I've done a considerable amount of work on intelligence-led policing and I find this new thrust for predictive policing a real reach. I've yet to see any law enforcement agency conduct intelligence operations on the same scale or as continuously as the military-intel community. I think its great that police departments are finally reverting to intel processes and smarter employment, but I think most of their so called predictive policing techniques have been done by smart cops for years but not documented. Those that come from data are strictly extrapolations that don't really anticipate change as much as hope that future crime patterns match old crime patterns.

  8. #8
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Predictive Policing appears in London

    The "think tank" Policy Exchange, who have considerable impact on UK government policies, have a seminar next week on 'Pre-Crime and Predictive Policing'.

    From the summary:
    Predicting where offences will occur and deploying police before crime happens has been an inexact science until recently, but that may soon change. Two pilots of the experimental ‘predictive policing’ method are underway in California and this new approach could have important lessons for UK policing in how forces deploy their resources to prevent crime....

    The most robust predictive policing pilot, in Los Angeles, has just begun and shows some promising early results. The lead officer for the LAPD pilot, and a pioneer of predictive policing, Sean Malinowski, will be a speaker alongside George Tita, an expert on predictive models, from the University of California at Irvine.
    Link:http://www.policyexchange.org.uk/eve...ent.cgi?id=405

    (Added later in 2016) Link to video of the event:http://www.policyexchange.org.uk/mod...ctive-policing
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-19-2016 at 04:13 PM.
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  9. #9
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default How Facebook could get you arrested

    A lengthy article in The Guardian, sub-titled:
    Smart technology and the sort of big data available to social networking sites are helping police target crime before it happens. But is this ethical?
    He starts with:
    The police have a very bright future ahead of them – and not just because they can now look up potential suspects on Google. As they embrace the latest technologies, their work is bound to become easier and more effective, raising thorny questions about privacy, civil liberties, and due process.
    Link no longer works due to copyright and a search on Evgeny Morozov, the author's blog failed.

    The author correctly draws attention to the leviathans of public use IT, for example Facebook & Amazon and asks who reviews their algorithms, for their ethical basis and effectiveness.

    Given the clear failure to win the so called 'war on drugs', which has had massive funding and much hi-tech - why would this predictive policing be effective?
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 11-02-2013 at 09:32 PM. Reason: Link no longer works, explanation added
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    Council Member Sergeant T's Avatar
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    Default The Economist's Take

    The Economist weighs in on the topic.

    Predicting and forestalling crime does not solve its root causes. Positioning police in hotspots discourages opportunistic wrongdoing, but may encourage other criminals to move to less likely areas. And while data-crunching may make it easier to identify high-risk offenders—about half of American states use some form of statistical analysis to decide when to parole prisoners—there is little that it can do to change their motivation.
    I get a little queasy when we start handing decision making over to algorithms. As we used to say, you can't quantify the bad things that don't happen.

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Found this JHU author's paper whilst looking for something else, on a quick skim read it is a useful summary, but I still have my doubts over this approach.

    Link:
    davidbfpo

  12. #12
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Does prediction work?

    The (US) NIJ has commissioned a RAND study and the linked piece quickly summarises the position, form a critical viewpoint:http://nextcity.org/daily/entry/predictive-policing-crime-stats-data-measure
    davidbfpo

  13. #13
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Does it work? Kansas City tries, Memphis did

    A short NYT article reviews the situation, with a focus on Kansas City, but these two paragraphs struck me - is this option really working?

    The Memphis police force, a pioneer in predictive policing, has worked with the University of Memphis for about a decade to forecast crime by noting time and location of episodes and information about victims. Officers then flood those areas with marked and undercover police cars, and also increase traffic stops, the department said.

    But violent crime has proved stubborn in Memphis, and the city continues to be one of the most dangerous places in the nation, according to F.B.I. data.
    Link:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/25/us...t-crimes.html?
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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default US police departments calculate 'threat scores'

    A short article and no links that explain more alas:
    Police departments in many American cities are using high-tech databases to determine how dangerous individuals might be when officers arrive at a crime scene.The systems take into account criminal history, social media profiles, property records and other factors to produce a “threat score”. Before reporting to a crime scene, police can use the databases to retrieve scores on those inside.
    Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...dia-posts.html
    davidbfpo

  15. #15
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Calculating your threat ‘score’

    A better explanation was found in WaPo, thanks to a "lurker" and is based on Fresno PD, California and the full title is 'The new way police are surveilling you: Calculating your threat ‘score’:https://www.washingtonpost.com/local...a0c_story.html

    The scoring system is briefly described:
    But perhaps the most controversial and revealing technology is the threat-scoring software Beware. Fresno is one of the first departments in the nation to test the program. As officers respond to calls, Beware automatically runs the address. The searches return the names of residents and scans them against a range of publicly available data to generate a color-coded threat level for each person or address: green, yellow or red.
    Exactly how Beware calculates threat scores is something that its maker, Intrado, considers a trade secret, so it is unclear how much weight is given to a misdemeanor, felony or threatening comment on Facebook. However, the program flags issues and provides a report to the user.
    Interested in more ask via:http://www.intrado.com/beware

    A US academic intelligence SME has responded by proving, free, his 2004 article on 'Homeland Security Intelligence: Just the Beginning' which explains a lot, almost predictive? Link:https://www.academia.edu/3695760/Hom..._the_Beginning
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  16. #16
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Beware of threat ‘scores'

    Now The Atlantic weighs in with a long article and concludes that Fresno PD's use of 'Beware' is:
    Beware of this product and proceed only with great caution.
    Link:http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/...danger/423642/
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Thanks, America! How China’s Newest Software Could Predict, Track, and Crush Dissent

    In a somewhat strange IMHO article 'Defence One' has an article on how China is exploiting fusion and the new capacity of IT to predict dissent, if not protest:http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2016/03/thanks-america-china-aims-tech-dissent/126491/?

    It starts with:
    What if the Communist Party could havepredicted Tiananmen Square? The Chinese government is deploying a new tool to keep the population from uprising. Beijing is building software to predict instability before it arises, based on volumes of data mined from Chinese citizens about their jobs, pastimes, and habits. It’s the latest advancement of what goes by the name “predictive policing,” where data is used to deploy law enforcement or even military units to places where crime (or, say, an anti-government political protest) is likely to occur. Don’t cringe: Predictive policing was born in the United States. But China is poised to emerge as a leader in the field.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-22-2016 at 05:09 PM. Reason: 13,829v
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    Default Dangerous "snake oil" product on offer?

    More "cold water" on predictive policing:
    But according to a study to be published later this month in the academic journal Significance, PredPol may merely be reinforcing bad police habits. When researchers from the Human Rights Data Analysis Group — a nonprofit dedicated to using science to analyze human-rights violations around the world — applied the tool to crime data in Oakland, the algorithm recommended that police deploy officers to neighborhoods with mostly black residents. As it happens, police in Oakland were already sending officers into these areas.
    Link:https://mic.com/articles/156286/crim...ows#.3IhFXDIIh

    The cited journal Significance is an Anglo-US publication of the two national statistical groups. The article is behind a pay-wall alas, here is a summary:https://www.statslife.org.uk/signifi...-issue-preview
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-12-2016 at 04:32 PM. Reason: 14,654v
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    CIA claims of predicting some unrest up to 5 day ahead:

    https://www.engadget.com/2016/10/05/...-5-days-ahead/

  20. #20
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Big Data and Policing - in the UK

    Recently RUSI, a Whitehall "think tank" published a report 'Big Data and Policing: An Assessment of Law Enforcement Requirements, Expectations and Priorities', with 54 pgs. and there is a comprehensive summary on this link:https://rusi.org/publication/occasio...t-requirements

    It is very UK-centric report, so little mention is made of the various US experiments and schemes.

    Today's The Independent on Sunday has an article, based on the report, but has some other comments:http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...-a7963706.html
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