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Is 'Predictive Policing' Helpful or Harmful to Society?

Fef 2012/07/13 19:00:00
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Predictive policing uses algorithms to predict where crime will occur and sends extra law enforcement patrols into those neighborhoods. The police processes historical data through a computer program and determines "hot spots" based on modeling by social anthropologists.

Reason.com asks, "How might predictive policing interfere with the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment guarantee that Americans are to be free unreasonable searches and seizures?" Reason.com claims to provide an alternative to right-wing and left-wing opinions with its focus on liberty and individual choice. Ronald Bailey's article discusses the benefits (less crime, more efficient law enforcement) and costs (possible violation of Civil Rights?).

REASON.COM reports:
Predictive policing helps police protect citizens. It could also be used to oppress them.

Chart from Memphis Police Department’s Blue CRUSH initiative uses IBM predictive analytics software to analyze past and present crime records in seconds to create multi-layer “hot spots” and better deploy officers to combat crime.
Predictive Policing

Read More: http://reason.com/archives/2012/07/10/predictive-p...

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Top Opinion

  • iamco2000 2012/07/14 02:39:38
    Harmful to Society
    iamco2000
    +11
    hmmm, slowly edge our way into an Orwellian nightmare shall we? Haven't we been told that slow, metered, indoctrination causes us to not notice societal changes or ask questions? 1920's Germany experienced the same thing....the gov. said "every self-respecting German citizen will be proud to register their guns", then when it became time for Hitler to bring the hammer down it was a piece of cake for the Gestapo and SS to round up....they'd already been given the addresses and names.

    Talk about a real-life acting out of the Minority Report, you might be arrested because an algorithm decided you would be, sorry but we have a Constitution that specifically and clearly states Innocent until PROVEN guilty, not suspect until preemptively apprehended.

    Talk about a sign of the times, what's next death sentences by self-aware "predictive enforcement" drones?

    Grace to you, Glory to God!

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  • OGMantis 2012/07/15 15:30:51
    Harmful to Society
    OGMantis
    +3
    If u could sue police than helpful. Police get away with everything especially falsely accusing the innocent. A lot of them have bad intuition.
  • paul 2012/07/15 15:21:11
    Helpful to Society
    paul
    If you had 20 robberys in section A, would you send your man power to section G where nothing seems to happen? This is just common sense. If this was going on in a white area, no one would even care. 20 robberys send power common white care
  • Pronata... paul 2012/07/15 17:43:37
    Pronatalist Pronatalist
    +3
    Sure, why not seen police to sections where nothing seems to happen? If the agenda is not to keep people safe, but to squeeze "revenue enhancement" out of people? Isn't that the real reason we have DUI checkpoints that violate our 4th Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure, harassing law-abiding citizens, just trying to get to work or wherever they are going? Think of all the police officers that could be freed up, to look for and respond to real crimes, rather than seeking to entrap people? If somebody's car registration is expired, who's fault is that? Come on, it's not hard to figure out. Who set the expiration date? The government, so that makes it the government's fault. So fine the politicians for all the "expired" registrations found.

    Why risk police officer's lives, sending them into unsafe neighborhoods, if it's just a police state money-making racket, as it increasingly seems to be becoming. (Maybe the "unsafe" neighborhoods better know how to defend themselves against a corrupt goverment and against abusive police thugs?)

    That's why some freedom-lovers are already calling police, "pirates." Because it's become more of a "revenue enhancement" scheme, than the traditional agenda of punishing the actual evil-doers. Is it any wonder, more and more people don't trust the police?
  • paul Pronata... 2012/07/15 22:07:50
    paul
    You may have a point....however if the illegal Alien who crashed into one of my co-workers car, had gone through one of those "intrustive" DUI check points....he would have been stopped there. He was caught, after the fact....he, like you, thought car registration / insurance was also a Politicians problem, not his. As for risking police lives going into unsafe neighborhoods, it is their job, their chosen profession to take those risks. Unlike the guy making $9 an hour working in a convience store who is killed for a few dollars because there was no police out doing "revenue enhancement" in his area. full metal jacket
  • sundance paul 2012/07/15 22:39:39
  • paul sundance 2012/07/15 23:12:41
    paul
    Thank You..... man bowing
  • sundance paul 2012/07/16 02:54:47
    sundance
    +1
    Isnt logic just awesome?...
  • paul sundance 2012/07/16 22:51:04
  • sundance paul 2012/07/17 01:00:52
    sundance
    +1
    Ah, a logic garnet. I must admit that, beyond the creator (Zellweger), I know little about it. I do, however, understand many of the logics spun from its primary thought....
  • paul sundance 2012/07/17 01:07:44
    paul
    nobel prize  nobel prize cerimony

    You impress me!
  • sundance paul 2012/07/17 05:14:23
    sundance
    +1
    Thank you. Seldom do I get even a favorable response, let alone a kind one....Just a thought...
  • paul sundance 2012/07/17 22:40:35
    paul
    Hopefully that will not be the last..... kudos kudos
  • Pronata... paul 2012/08/11 03:04:14
    Pronatalist Pronatalist
    The police are supposed to do patrols, but not to harass the honest, decent, law-abiding citizens who are no threat.

    Don't we all know, that the liberals refuse to secure our borders? Maybe that might be a good place to stop some "illegal" immigrants who have nothing to contribute? Maybe we ought not have so many people driving, who can't even read traffic signs in English? If they are here long enough to obtain a car, maybe they could make a little more effort to learn English, and obey traffic safety laws?

    Did you know that a car is not a "motor vehicle?" Cars are "consumer goods." I thought I should bring that up, in reference to your "car registration" remark.

  • RoyJLores 2012/07/15 15:19:27
    Harmful to Society
    RoyJLores
    +1
    Geez Minority report anyone?
  • sundance RoyJLores 2012/07/16 03:03:20
    sundance
    So...Would you rather there be no police agencies? Without the police, you and many like you, would be food. Think about a world without 911. Think about a world where these guys aren't getting up every day, and keeping an eye on the animals for you. Could you do the job? No, because if you could, we wouldn't be having this conversation....Regardless of what this makes you think, its just good business. I ( and you, by the way) pay for EMS police and fire services. Would you rather pay to have them sitting in donut shops with 45 plus minute response times, or get there before that crackhead kills your family? And I have to add this. Who ( see comment above) is paying for all that idle time, spent aimlessly patrolling if they don't have any idea where to be? Logic...its not just a word...Just a thought...
  • RoyJLores sundance 2012/07/16 13:06:14
    RoyJLores
    WTF? are you talking about? Did you even read what the subject here is about because is not that even remotely and I'm talking light years. i'll give you a hint predictive policing does not mean We should get rid of the cops. just FYI
  • sundance RoyJLores 2012/07/16 18:02:08
    sundance
    To start with, I read a lot more about it than is posted here. I also saw the dumbass movie, so I have some idea what your talking about. However, your smart ass comment elicited the response you received, based on the senselessness of your comment alone. You, and apparently lots of other stupid people are worried about unwanted interdiction and inundation. Well guess what? That is not what Predictive Policing is about either. They are not going to zoom in and arrest you just because your stupid, or because they think your going to do something stupid. What it does mean, is that they will be in the area, so it is convenient when they do have to arrest you for being stupid again....Just a thought...
  • NoName sundance 2012/07/16 20:24:45
    NoName
    "So...Would you rather there be no police agencies?"

    Um... since when did not supporting this ever equate to waning no police agencies?>

    I believe jumping to an outlandish conclusion is a logical fallacy in of itself.
  • RoyJLores NoName 2012/07/16 20:35:25
    RoyJLores
    Exactly.
  • sundance NoName 2012/07/17 01:14:53 (edited)
    sundance
    OK, did you impress yourself, with that little ditty? To start with, the jump is not that outlandish. The general consensus here, is that this idea will lead to more police intervention and control, and that is the actual fallacy. My question, if you follow logic, was an overstatement, and not a fallacy. The general consensus (should you have read even a few of the posts), overwhelmingly share a common thread. Paranoia about an Orwellian government, and a loss of civil and personal control, seem to be a common thread. Even the Freudian mention of "The Minority report", is in itself, and example of the irrational fears shared by many. Now, should you wish to discuss this logically, then by all means. Should you instead, wish to banter with accusation and innuendo, then please, shut up and let the adults talk...Just a thought...

    PS...My last statement, is logically, neither a fallacy or a challenge, though it might be a bit overstated....
  • johne37179 RoyJLores 2012/07/16 14:23:47
    johne37179
    This is miles from Minority Report. This is not pre-crime. It is the smart allocation of a limited asset based on the best information. It is not your big brother you need to worry about, it is private industry that knows about you in intimate detail and markets to you using the very same approach. Google knows a lot more about you than does any agency of government. Government has the Fourth and Fifth amendments to the constitution regulating their behavior. There are no similar restraints on Google or Facebook.
  • sundance johne37179 2012/07/16 18:26:40
    sundance
    You know? In a rather Orwellian kind of way, you actually have quite a good point there. I have (just to prove a point) shown people how to "Google" themselves, and seen the look of WTF(?) wash over their faces, when I do so. I would disagree with one little point, however. The forth and fifth amendments, actually only protect you from being publicly scrutinizing by your government. I assure you, they have algorithmic data accumulation, that collects extensive data on their citizenry. They have been using predictive policing for decades, and wrote the book on preemptive surveillance. Even now they have some of the most sophisticated passive security measures, technology can provide. I assure you that these technologies are being well used to insure your "security", and not your privacy...Just a thought...
  • johne37179 sundance 2012/07/18 11:42:19
    johne37179
    As both a lawyer, a privacy advocate and the CEO of a company that uses data to identify risk I can tell you that the government is actually empowered to do what you describe. The Fourth and Fifth amendment only prevent the introductions of the findings in court to be used against you. The government actually has only one mandate -- that is to provide for the common defense. They just can't use what the find while providing for that common defense to prosecute anyone in the country without abiding by the constraints of the Fourth and Fifth amendments.
  • sundance johne37179 2012/07/18 20:59:34
    sundance
    Is amazing what can come to pass, isn't it? At this point, Mr Jefferson's quote does ring true. I wonder how the idea of security, as a worthwhile trade for liberty, became the thought of the day? Is perplexing, is it not?.....Just a thought...
  • simplex5 2012/07/15 15:18:09
    Harmful to Society
    simplex5
    +1
    Honestly! We as a people all have a tendency to hurt or harm someone esle-especially when prevoked. I hear some can read your mind. Wow! Transparence, is here and we are sleeping, wide awake!
  • sundance simplex5 2012/07/16 18:10:23
    sundance
    Were we supposed to understand that? Read your post, slowly and out loud to yourself, and then ask that question. Now I am sure it was supposed to have some deep, esoteric meaning. However, I think you might have been slightly left of the mark....Just a thought...
  • c.ruth93 2012/07/15 15:15:38
    Helpful to Society
    c.ruth93
    I find this paranoia that's going around quite amusing. They don't even need the technology. They have been doing this same thing for years. Where there's more crime just put a couple officers on patrol. This isn't a fairy tale. Just an algorithm. Instead of using pushpins and paper maps, police are now using computerized maps and a couple algorithms to determine where to best spread OUR officers. It's not the criminals who need them WE do. So stop being paranoid and relax its just a little technology.
  • me c.ruth93 2012/07/17 21:40:27
    me
    +1
    Yep, don't you love the paranoids out there in la la land............


    The original Department of Homeland Security release of an "extremism" report that warned local law enforcement officers nationwide to watch out for
    "potential terrorists" including those who:

    * Oppose abortion

    * Oppose same-sex marriage

    * Oppose restrictions on firearms

    * Oppose lax immigration laws

    * Oppose the policies of President Obama regarding immigration,
    citizenship, and the expansion of social programs

    * Oppose continuation of free trade agreements

    * Are suspect of foreign regimes

    * Fear Communist regimes

    * Oppose a "one world" government

    * Bemoan the decline of U.S. stature in the world

    * Are upset with loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs to
    China and India, and more

    In other words, anyone that disagrees with Obama and/or any Liberal/Progressive agenda.
  • c.ruth93 me 2012/07/18 05:47:29
    c.ruth93
    I can see many of these bullet points include Islamic Terrorist and Survivalist groups (some of which are completely paranoid of government). So yes you can iterpret them in that way if you really want to, or look at them both ways meaning that they both encompass people who oppose Obama and those that do mean to do harm. Maybe Obama is just being paranoid of losing the election. ,
  • me c.ruth93 2012/07/18 22:08:44
    me
    Many of the descriptions can include union workers, just plain folk that don't like the direction that Obama is going, and include all sorts of people politically opposed to Obama. His administration is getting pretty good at putting out double edged messages...
  • c.ruth93 me 2012/07/19 03:32:33
    c.ruth93
    Everything he says is pretty much double-edged. Putting that list up has simply given him a way to control people who are't for him and for the people we have to actually look out for. Like I said probably paranoid about losing the election what batter way to get rid of voters then put them in prison for "terrorism".
  • dheydrick 2012/07/15 14:53:33
    Helpful to Society
    dheydrick
    Really people? This just makes logical & practical sense. There's no need to put a civil rights twist on this one.
  • sundance 2012/07/15 14:15:06
    Helpful to Society
    sundance
    +2
    First, a police presence should not be a bother to those that abide by the law. Second, if your not one of those, then you are the reason for the algorithm, right? Do the math folks. Should you not want your forth amendment rights to be violated, then by all means, feel free not to end up on their radar. Seems logical to me....Just a thought...

    PS...How many actual "law abiding citizens", have you heard, bitching about their forth amendment rights?... I thought so....
  • OGMantis sundance 2012/07/15 15:47:37
  • sundance OGMantis 2012/07/15 22:36:37
  • me sundance 2012/07/16 17:27:24
    me
    Do a google search for "bad cop" or something similar and you might find that most cops when given an inch will take the whole yardstick. But, I suspect that you don't think that anyone arrested or convicted is ever innocent.

    i used to think like you until I was beaten and off work for two weeks after being stopped as a suspected armed robber because I drove the same make, model, and color of car that the criminal drove. The police, about 6 of them, gave me a taste of police justice. After several hours n jail, bleeding all over the floor, the police realized their mistake and released me. I am lucky they never made up some offense to cover their mistake, instead, they just erased any contact with me...there is no police record of them even stopping me. When the police control everything from the simplest of records to the physical evidence, things can get very scary........................ And it is one of the main reasons that police do not want you video taping them..they can't control the video evidence....
  • sundance me 2012/07/16 19:53:19
  • me sundance 2012/07/17 04:31:39
    me
    First of, thinking like you meant 'as you presented your self in your post'. Secondly, I did everything the cops requested , turn off engine, hands out of window, slowly open door using outside door handle, get on ground face down...then while I was laying there not saying a word in the exact position that the 'officers' told me to be in, a cop ran up and kicked me in the side of the head and then the others joined him in kicking, punching, stomping. I am lucky that I lived through it. I woke up in the jail house and looked like a over ripe plum, bleeding all over the place. Besides with the unnecessary beating, what really makes me angry and distrustful of cops is that the cops denied that the episode ever occurred. No reports of contact exists, they covered every thing up. If that is the type of police that everyone wants, so be it, but I don't trust a cop for anything.... My children, knowing how the cops operate from my experience, do not trust them either. So the police, who say they want respect, propagate their own disrespect by their own actions...
  • sundance me 2012/07/17 05:24:57 (edited)
  • me sundance 2012/07/17 17:43:26 (edited)
    me
    Happened in central California.
    The original suspect was wanted for an armed robbery of a liqueur store.
    I was taken straight to the police station and released 2 hours later, went to my own doctor.

    I am American born, Caucasian.
    I doubt any profiling was used, the vehicle was identical to the perp's.
    [profiling seems to snare as many innocent people as viable suspects.]

    When I tried to lodge a complaint, I was told by the police that there was no official record of them having any contact with me. That the doctor's description of my injuries cannot be considered as evidence of police brutality because those injuries could have been caused by anyone. It was then suggested that I file a report of being attacked by unknown street hoodlums..

    Addendum: The policeman that suggested that I file a crime report was one of the cops that beat me. His obtuse advise didn't seem to bother him at all.

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