PREDICTIVE POLICING: ONE STEP FURTHER IN THE SAFE COMMUNITY
The availability of large datasets and the rapid development of sophisticated tools that allow fast processing of vast quantities of information have been the key drivers behind the increasing use of algorithmic technologies in policing since the early 2000ends. “Predictive policing” became an umbrella term for a variety of models, software and applications. All location based predictive policing programs however have the same aim: Sending police officers to the right place at the right time. For decades, police action has been rather reactive than proactive, focused on arrest and failing to see incidents as indicators of continuing underlying problems. Predictive policing has been praised as a turnaround of this approach, a “panacea” for the optimization of resources and the creation of a safer society, where the police can stop breaches of law, before they happen. Although lately more critical voices have been raised from civil society and research, questioning the effectiveness of the tools as well as their compatibility with human rights, there is still a lack of objective research on the issue.
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