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Old 18.03.2015, 08:16
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Arrests for burglary doubled in last 18 months

From New Scientist.

Precobs ...predicts where burglaries are likely to happen next. This is tightly defined, within a radius of about 250 metres, and a predicted time window for the crime of between 24 hours and 7 days. Officers are then advised to focus their resources in a flagged area.

Precobs has been trialled in the Swiss cantons of Basel-Landschaft, Zurich and Aargau ... the accuracy of predictions so far is about 80 to 85 per cent meaning that burglaries happened in most of the areas the software predicted.

This allowed police to conduct more targeted investigations and ... in Zurich the number of people arrested in connection with such crimes approximately doubled over the past 18 months. What's more, in areas policed with the aid of the system, the overall number of burglaries has fallen as much as 35 per cent, thanks to more arrests and a more effective police presence on the streets.


Pretty cool.
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Old 18.03.2015, 10:11
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Re: Arrests for burglary doubled in last 18 months

How sure are we they are not just talking their own book?
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Old 18.03.2015, 10:21
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Re: Arrests for burglary doubled in last 18 months

The software seems to be rather simplistic according to the description in spiegel.de. And as soon as it's become popular it will become ineffective because burglars (especially the professionals) will adjust by delaying longer and using bigger areas.
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Old 18.03.2015, 10:22
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Re: Arrests for burglary doubled in last 18 months

where's my minority report?????
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Old 18.03.2015, 10:35
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Re: Arrests for burglary doubled in last 18 months

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The software seems to be rather simplistic according to the description in spiegel.de. And as soon as it's become popular it will become ineffective because burglars (especially the professionals) will adjust by delaying longer and using bigger areas.
I think I'll take New Scientist over spiegel.de for scientific information (the system was described in detail in earlier articles). But in any case I think you are wrong - the models, developed using solid mathematics, are based on the information flow gathered by the police and not generally available. The criminals would have to acquire the software (not hard) and the data warehouse (somewhat harder) .

Well educated, intelligent criminals will always be tricky to catch. Fortunately such are very much in the minority.
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Old 18.03.2015, 11:27
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Re: Arrests for burglary doubled in last 18 months

This is incredibly interesting and, acknowledging earlier reference to Minority Report, slightly unsettling.
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Old 18.03.2015, 12:00
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Re: Arrests for burglary doubled in last 18 months

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This is incredibly interesting and, acknowledging earlier reference to Minority Report, slightly unsettling.
Not really. There crimes were predicted before they happened, prevented and the perpetrators arrested for the crimes they were going to commit. Here, people are only arrested if they're caught committing the crimes. Crime is reduced two ways - first by catching people in the act, second by police patrolling where they are needed.
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Old 18.03.2015, 12:10
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Re: Arrests for burglary doubled in last 18 months

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Not really. There crimes were predicted before they happened, prevented and the perpetrators arrested for the crimes they were going to commit. Here, people are only arrested if they're caught committing the crimes. Crime is reduced two ways - first by catching people in the act, second by police patrolling where they are needed.
Of course, but this technology and method of tracking has only been used effectively for a few years. What I find slightly unsettling is the possible future of a police force using data analysis more and more to prevent crime.

You also have to question whether the very reason of placing greater police resources in a certain area will inevitably lead to the detection of crime. There are numerous other issues, including whether the analysis is, in essence, profiling certain groups of people.

But I am not saying it's a bad thing. All I am saying is that the future of this technology needs to be carefully monitored and managed.
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Old 18.03.2015, 12:28
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Re: Arrests for burglary doubled in last 18 months

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I think I'll take New Scientist over spiegel.de for scientific information (the system was described in detail in earlier articles). But in any case I think you are wrong - the models, developed using solid mathematics, are based on the information flow gathered by the police and not generally available. The criminals would have to acquire the software (not hard) and the data warehouse (somewhat harder) .

Well educated, intelligent criminals will always be tricky to catch. Fortunately such are very much in the minority.
The article you quoted from doesn't contain particularly more info than the Spiegel. Neither gives enough information to even begin assessing the systems usefulness and efficiency.

The models are based on past "good" behavior patterns from a burglars point of view. With systems like Precobs a new factor comes into play, changing what constitutes "good" behavior and thus burglars' behavior will change, too - probably not enough to render Precobs et al. useless, but the amount of success will at least partially disappear.
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