Police drop computer programme that showed where to send patrols

CRUISE CONTROL The programme earned comparisons with 2002 Tom Cruise film Minority Report

Police drop computer programme that showed where to send patrols

by William Mata | 3rd December 2018

KENT POLICE has ended a first-of-its-kind £100,000-a-year programme that used computer algorithms to detect crime trends.

The force has revealed it ended Predictive Policing in March, after four and a half years, because of a new policing model.

The system earned comparisons with Tom Cruise thriller Minority Report when Kent Police became the first British force to partner US company PredPol.

Speaking to the Times, Superintendent John Phillips confirmed the partnership had ended as part of an ‘evaluation of options’.

“Kent Police became the first force in England and Wales to introduce Predictive Policing in December 2013,” he said.

“Using historical data and an algorithm it allowed officers to identify public spaces that would benefit from patrols.

“While it did not predict crime, it was used as a preventative tool and supported the force’s focus at the time on neighbourhood policing.”

The programme was enrolled across the county, after it led to a 6 per cent reduction in street violence during a four-month trial in north Kent in late 2012.

Mr Phillips continued: “The launch of a new policing model that places victims and witnesses at its centre, has led Kent Police to evaluate alternative options which will support a focus on both traditional and emerging crime types.

“Therefore Kent Police has not renewed its contract with the current provider of Predictive Policing.”

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