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Predictive Policing, Crime Forecasting and the Future of Law Enforcement

Posted in Crime, Data Mining, Future, Futurist, Government, Law, Police

Last week, fellow futurist Simon Anderson and I posted a chapter from our forthcoming book, Foresight 2020, which discussed the future of crime and law enforcement. It was entitled Crime By Design.

One of the trends we outlined was the application of predictive analytics (or data-crunching) to deter crime.

To emphasize this point, I’d like to share with you this article from yesterday’s New York Times discussing how the city of Santa Cruz is using “predictive policing” to forecast–and thus prevent–crime.

The benefit of employing predictive analytics is two-fold. First, it improves citizen safety by preventing some crimes from ever occurring and thus helps makes cities more livable. Second, because it costs less money to prevent a crime than it does to solve a crime, police officers and police resources can be more efficiently deployed. This, in turn, means scarce public resources can be re-directed to other important societal functions or the money can be returned to citizens in the form of lower taxes.

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Crime by Design: The Future of Law Enforcement

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