‘living thing’ must be fed data
As the technology gets more sophisticated, officers can make sure they are in an area before something has even occurred, their presence alone stopping even the most brazen criminal from striking.
PredPol uses three data points; past type, place and time of crime, to create a unique algorithm based on criminal behaviour patterns.
The PredPol software allows police forces across the world to tailor their system to their location.
When Kent Police began its predictive policing pilot in December 2012, it started by feeding data, including five years’ worth of recorded crimes and three years of incidents of antisocial behaviour, into a computer.
Mark Johnson calls the PredPol programme akin to a “living thing” in that it must constantly be fed new information to keep being able to accurately predict where crimes will happen.
Kent’s PredPol system costs the equivalent of about two police officers per year.
It is successful in predicting “space-dependent” crimes like anti-social behaviour.