What is predictive policing? It is a system that uses mathematical models (analytics) to predict what individuals and geographic areas have the potential for criminal activity.
If this sounds like a science fiction movie plot with no basis in reality, you are mistaken. Predictive policing is already used widely in America, including in North Texas cities like Dallas
Are there any benefits to predictive policing?
It depends on whom you ask. Advocates of these systems believe they offer many benefits, including:
- Advancements in crime prevention
- More support for police personnel
- Police department expense reduction
It may also help to automate some of the tasks that police officers perform.
What about the downsides of predictive policing?
Many organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), oppose predictive policing. They fear that replacing a human mind with mathematical algorithms leaves some neighborhoods and individuals at a disadvantage. For example, the ACLU believes this technology could increase racial profiling.
Other possible downsides of predictive policing include the following:
- Inaccurate results could lead to wrongful arrests.
- Data used in predictive models may be racially biased.
- It could compromise privacy and security.
- It may leave certain areas under-policed.
- It could result in over-policing other areas.
Predictive policing could play a vital role in the outcome of some criminal defense cases. If you believe and can produce evidence that predictive policing played a role in your arrest, it could be an advantage to you in dealing with the charges. It’s wise to explore your criminal defense options after an arrest, especially for if you are facing serious charges.