Attorney David Chesley's Criminal Defense Blog

LAPD Using New Computer Techniques to Predict Crimes

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The LAPD says they are now using a new tool to help them lower the crime rate. What the LAPD is calling “predictive policing” is a technique were the police use a computer that takes data from all types of crime in a specific area.

Computer algorithms take this data and maps out 500 square foot areas where certain crimes are more likely to happen. With this information cops who are patrolling will be able to pay more attention to this 500 square foot areas.

The LAPD’s Foothill division had a crime free day on February 13th of this year. They attribute this day to the techniques mentioned above. The Foothill division covers an area of 50 square miles, making a day without crime possible is no easy feat.

In attempts to keep the possibility of profiling the information this computer does not tell the police anything about race, gender or any individual person, according to Chief Mark Yokoyama of the Alhambra Police Department.

Instead the computer looks at the current date, as well as time and location to predict crimes. With this technology the LAPD has already seen a reduction in crime rates over the last few years. How this “predictive policing” may evolve is not yet know, but it looks like the impact it is having on crime is already visible.

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