Predictive policing was lauded as one of the "top inventions of the year" two years ago by Time Magazine. The evidence-based predictive tool is catching on across the country.
Police department use predictive analytics, similar to those used by Walmart and Amazon to predict consumer behavior, to predict crime behavior. Burlington, MA Police use similar mathematical techniques coupled with crime statistics in order to predict where certain incidents may occur, according to My Fox Boston.
The technique, which relies heavily on accurate data and current trends, recently helped the Burlington Police Department catch a very persistent burglar, who had hit more than a dozen homes in a certain area.
"We're not just spending random money and putting people on the streets and having them drive around town. We're putting them in an area that's been hit, that will most likely be hit, and we are making arrests and we are reducing crime," said Bill Bratton, former Boston Police Commissioner and one of the people who taught the techniques to the Burlington Police Department, reported Fox.
Officers said criminals are people and people are creatures of habit. If a method works, they tend to stick to that particular method. Police also said criminals tend to commit crimes just outside the radius of their home or officer.
Knowing that information and using longitude and latitude, police used averages, ranges and standard deviations to find the physical heart of where the break-ins were happening.
Once the officers determined the suspect's next potential move, they patrolled the area in plainclothes during certain days and around certain times and caught him. The suspect was on his 16th break-in and even had some of the stolen items on him, according to Fox.
An analysis of crime and punishment from the perspective of a former prosecutor and current criminal justice practitioner.
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