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Predictive Policing

Predictive Policing: The Role of Crime Forecasting in Law Enforcement Operations

Walter L. Perry
Brian McInnis
Carter C. Price
Susan C. Smith
John S. Hollywood
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 186
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  • Book Info
    Predictive Policing
    Book Description:

    Predictive policing is the use of analytical techniques to identify targets for police intervention with the goal of preventing crime, solving past crimes, or identifying potential offenders and victims. These tools are not a substitute for integrated approaches to policing, nor are they a crystal ball. This guide assesses some of the most promising technical tools and tactical approaches for acting on predictions in an effective way.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8155-1
    Subjects: Law, Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xiii-xxiv)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxv-xxvi)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxvii-xxx)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-16)

    Smart, effective, and proactive policing is clearly preferable to simply reacting to criminal acts. Although there are many methods aimed at preventing crime, predicting where and when a crime is likely to occur, who is likely responsible for prior crimes, and who is most likely to offend or be victimized in the future has recently gained considerable currency. Law enforcement agencies across the United States are employing a range of predictive policing methods, and much has been written about their effectiveness. This guide offers a focused examination of predictive techniques currently in use, identifies the techniques that show promise if...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Making Predictions About Potential Crimes
    (pp. 17-56)

    In this chapter, we focus on predictions about crime and its victims: when and where it is most likely to occur, what is likely to cause it, and who is most likely to be a victim. The discussion focuses on the first two steps of the prediction-led policing business process depicted in Figure 1.1 in Chapter One. As with most forecasting methods, predicting future criminal events—whether from a tactical (next incident) or strategic (long-term) perspective—involves studying data on past crimes and victims, often using a variety of methods but generally always looking for patterns. The underlying assumption is...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Using Predictions to Support Police Operations
    (pp. 57-80)

    No matter what type of intervention is chosen, there is a need to provide tailored information to law enforcement personnel at all levels on both the forecasts and the data supporting the forecasts. Examples of the latter might include recent crime locations and descriptions, major call locations and descriptions, locations of crime attractors, reports on persons of interest in an area, and recent field interview reports. Officers need this information to respond to problems.

    The primary focus of this chapter is the last two steps of the prediction-led policing business process depicted in Figure 1.1 in Chapter One. In Figure...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Using Predictions to Support Investigations of Potential Offenders
    (pp. 81-114)

    Chapter Two addressed predictive techniques, principles, and the capacity in place at some police departments to estimatewhereandwhena crime might occur and its likely causes. Chapter Three reviewed police interventions based on these estimates and other sources. The focus was clearly on the crime. This chapter furthers that discussion to address how predictive technology has been used to estimate who—who is most likely to commit crimes in the future or who most likely committed crimes in the recent past. The methods discussed in Chapter Two built on crime incident records with information on temporal and spatial...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Findings for Practitioners, Developers, and Policymakers
    (pp. 115-138)

    Predictive policing is more than just a few methods for analyzing data. It is a systemic and systematic process of collecting, analyzing, and responding to data. This guide has covered many of the techniques for processing these data, along with some actions that can be taken in response to that analysis. This chapter addresses common misconceptions about predictive policing and pitfalls related to its implementation, providing suggestions for building an analytical capability. We conclude with a summary of the key lessons learned over the course of this study.

    While the term label is new, many of the types of analysis...

  14. About the Authors
    (pp. 139-140)
  15. Bibliography
    (pp. 141-156)