San Diego Union-Tribune Newspaper Highlights PredPol
The San Diego Union Tribune featured Carlsbad Police’s deployment of PredPol in a recent article – here is an excerpt:
It appears that the Carlsbad Police Department will become the first law enforcement agency in San Diego County to use crime-prediction software, a trendy new tool credited with reducing crime in Los Angeles, Memphis and other cities.
Carlsbad officials said last week they recently agreed to start using PredPol software early next year in an effort to reduce crime and deploy the department’s 110 officers more effectively.
The software is based on the idea that if police can more often be in the right place at the right time, many crimes would get solved while they happen or not take place at all…
Using mathematical formulas that can help predict the locations of earthquake aftershocks, PredPol gives police officers maps showing where future crimes are likely to take place.
The software combines data about past crimes with universal trends in criminal activity and other information from local police, such as where a set of streetlights has burned out.
While virtually all law enforcement agencies study patterns of where and when past crimes occurred, PredPol uses algorithms — step-by-step mathematical calculations — to look ahead.
“They’re looking at crime through a rearview mirror and we’re looking through the front windshield” said Ryan Coonerty, PredPol’s director of government relations and strategy. “It’s been shown to be a little more than twice as effective.”
In the Foothill area of Los Angeles in 2012, more than 6 percent of crimes took place within areas on maps created by PredPol, while only 3 percent happened in locations mapped by Police Department analysts.
That year, overall crime was down 12 percent in the Foothill area, with department officials crediting PredPol for part of the drop. Meanwhile, burglaries were down 19 percent when Santa Cruz began using the software in 2012.
Coonerty said predictive policing is the next evolution in crime fighting, describing it as an advance similar to community policing in the 1960s and the CompStat system for analyzing past crime data in the 1990s.
PredPol was designed by professors at UCLA, UC-Irvine and Santa Clara University. Time magazine included crime-prediction software on its list of the best inventions of 2011…