CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Gstrein et al. on Predictive Policing

Oskar Josef GstreinAnno Bunnik and Andrej Zwitter (University of Groningen - Campus Fryslân, Data Research Centre, Campus Fryslân and Campus Fryslân) have posted Ethical, Legal and Social Challenges of Predictive Policing (Católica Law Review (2019), Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
While Predictive Policing is an innovative tool to use data and statistical methods to forecast the probability of crime and improve the effectiveness of deployment of resources, it is based on many underpinning assumptions. The main ethical issues relating to PP circle around the themes data selection and machine bias, visualisation and interpretation of forecasts, transparency and accountability, time and effectiveness as well as the problem of stigmatisation of individuals, environments and community areas. This translates into the legal domain and particularly questions relating to privacy. The current legislative framework only partly addresses these issues, focusing mainly on individual rights and not on groups and how they might be affected. The main societal concerns relating to the use of Predictive Policing circle around the establishment of trust. In this overview developed in cooperation with several European law enforcement agencies and members of civil society, we submit that it is still unclear whether Predictive Policing is effective if its main objective is to reduce crime rates.

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