New crime-predicting software showed a 25 percent drop in reported burglaries for a Los Angeles police precinct that used it, according to the MIT Technology Review and various media reports Monday, July 2.
The software creates a “heat map” that was found to be more accurate than seasoned police veterans at predicting where crimes would happen next in the Foothill division of Los Angeles — where the software was tested, a 46-square mile area with 200,000 residents.
"We are seeing a tipping point — they are out there preventing the crime. The suspect is showing up in the area where he likes to go. They see black-and-white [police cruisers] talking to citizens—and that's enough to disrupt the activity," Sean Malinowski, a police captain in the Foothill division, said in a press webinar last week, reported Technology Review.
The software is developed by PredPol, a Santa Cruz, Calif., based software developer and assisted by anthropological research performed by Santa Clara University and the University of California, Los Angeles. The crime-predicting software, which uses past crime data and sociological studies of criminal behavior to determine where crimes will probably happen next, is now being used by police officers in six Los Angeles precinct areas inhabited by 1.1 million people.