Tag Archives: Police

Police are Using Big Data To Prevent Crime

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Did you enjoy the minority report?

Whoever enjoyed Steven Spielberg‘s vision of crime protection in “Minority Report” can look forward to the real thing now. UCLA mathematician George Mohler uses seismologists models for crime predictions. So far, the US police have mainly identified hotspots where crimes happen often. Inspired by recent innovations in big data and by businesses like Walmart and Amazon, police are trying to be predictive.

Past crimes can be predictive of future crimes.

The numbers speak for themselves: officers have reversed the crime wave and lowered crime by 11% from the first half of the year to 4% below historical averages for those months. The full article is here: Predictive Policing with Big Data. Those numbers are impressive, but as usual, a word of caution should be applied. It is often not easy to see what is causality and what is not. As Freakonomics showed with their argument that abortion reduced crime rates, it can be difficult to differentiate between different factors. Only once this model is tested more going forward can one attribute crime reduction to Mohler’s algorithm. Despite this, these developments show how fast we are moving towards a more predictive society.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]