PredPol, short for predictive policing, is a system that highlights areas of cities every day where it predicts crime is most likely to occur, and it directs police patrols to give those areas special attention. The genesis of the program came from a collaboration between LAPD deputy chief Sean Malinowski and Canadian Jeff Brantingham, an anthropology professor at UCLA.
PredPol uses several years of crime reports to predict where police patrols should concentrate their efforts. A map generated by PredPol software, short for predictive policing, forecasting where crimes are likely to occur.
Currently police in Saskatchewan are building a predictive policing system that will analyze social media posts, police records, and social services information to predict who might go missing. A DRDC report shows the Saskatchewan Police Predictive Analytics Lab (SPPAL)—a partnership between police, the provincial Ministry of Justice, and the University of Saskatchewan—is analyzing historical missing persons data with a focus on children in provincial care, habitual runaways, and missing Indigenous persons, and building tools to predict who might go missing. In the next phase of the project, SPPAL will add social service and social media data.
Dr. Jeff Brantingham will explore how PredPol has been used since it began in 2012 and how it works for police services and the feedback from both police and the communities served.
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