London police trialling crime prediction software

london police trialling crime prediction software minority report
It’s not quite Minority Report, but it’s not too far off: London’s police force has tested a new software application that can help it identify the gang members most likely to commit crimes in the future. The trial run, which lasted for 20 weeks, is the first of its kind in Britain.

The system used various indicators, such as five years’ worth of historical data and social media posts, to try and identify the groups of individuals within gangs who posed the greatest threat. If the software is eventually deployed across the police force, it will use up-to-the-minute data to make its predictions.

According to representatives from Accenture, the company that developed the program, the idea is to more effectively target the police’s resources rather than to try and prevent theoretical future crime. “You’ve got limited police resources and you need to target them efficiently,” Muz Janoowalla, head of public safety analytics at the firm, told the BBC. “What this does is tell you who are the highest risk individuals that you should target your limited resources against.”

“For example, if an individual had posted inflammatory material on the Internet… it would be recorded in the intelligence system,” he added. “What we were able to do was mine both the intelligence and the known criminal history of individuals to come up with a risk assessment model.”

Taking data from 32 different London boroughs, the number crunching was focused on four years’ worth of records — the computer’s predictions were then compared with the actual crime statistics for the fifth year to see how accurate it was. A spokesperson said the trial run had been a success but didn’t divulge any precise figures on the system’s success rate.

The London police force says the software highlights groups of known criminals rather than singling out individuals, but privacy groups have voiced concerns. “The police need to be very careful about how they use this kind of technology,” said Daniel Nesbitt, research director at Big Brother Watch. “The Metropolitan Police must ensure that they are fully transparent about how they intend implement this technology and what type of information will be used in the process.”

Features

Exclusive: The Surface Hub 2S will revolutionize work. Here’s how it was made

Exclusive interviews with the designers, futurists, and visionaries behind the Surface Hub 2 paint a dramatic picture of how Microsoft thinks collaboration will change your office.
Movies & TV

Skip the flowers and sunshine this spring and watch the best shows on Hulu

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (April 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Product Review

You won't buy Microsoft's Surface Hub 2S, but it could still change your life

The Microsoft Surface Hub 2S wants to change the way you collaborate at work. That’s a lofty goal most devices fail to achieve, but the unique Hub 2S could be an exception. And trust us – you’re going to want it.
Emerging Tech

How emotion-tracking A.I. will change computing as we know it

Affectiva is just one of the startups working to create emotion-tracking A.I. that can work out how you're feeling. Here's why this could change the face of computing as we know it.
Computing

Meet the mastermind behind Microsoft's massive new Surface Hub

Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay gives us an exclusive peek at the 85-inch Surface Hub 2, and explains how innovation and collaboration will transform your workplace.
Computing

Microsoft reveals details of Surface Hub 2S, coming in June at $9,000

The Surface Hub 2 could be the most expensive whiteboard ever made, but it should be a powerful and capable one. With the ability to connect several of the 50-inch displays together, the picture at least, should be gorgeous.
Computing

Report says 20% of all 2018 web traffic came from bad bots

Distil Networks published its annual Bad Bot Report this week and announced that 20% of all web traffic in 2018 came from bad bots. The report had other similarly surprising findings regarding the state of bots as well.
Gaming

Learn to uninstall a Steam game and clear some space on your PC

Looking to learn how to uninstall Steam games? You've come to the right place. In this guide, we walk you through the process step by step, whether you want Steam to do it for you or handle the process manually.
Deals

Amazon strikes $100 off the price of Microsoft Surface Go tablets

If you've been eyeing Microsoft's Surface Go for its compact size and portability, now may be a great time to buy the tablet. Amazon has a $100 discount on the Surface Go, bringing the price of this slate down to just under $400.
Photography

Sweet 16: Wacom’s Cintiq 16 pen display makes retouching photos a breeze

Wacom’s Cintiq pen displays are usually reserved for the pros (or wealthy enthusiasts), but the new Cintiq 16 brings screen and stylus editing to an approachable price. Does it cut too much to get there?
Computing

Mueller report releases on CD, forces Congress to find PCs with disc drives

The Mueller report was released this week to Congress via CDs and congressional members had to find PCs with working disc drives to access the 400-page document. The redacted report was also released to the public on a website.