If you didn’t see this short report on Channel 4 news last night, watch it on catchup tv here. It’s good to see that West Midlands Police are experimenting with this and now about to roll it out across Birmingham. For all that, when I heard the reporter say “Ironically, America stole the idea from Britain” I was very suprised.
It’s important to give credit where credit is due. Over the last few months, I’ve been reading the free to view academic papers of P. Jeffrey Brantingham – see under Publications – and he seems to me to be head and shoulders above everyone else and has been for a number of years. So patriotic man that I man, I don’t really believe we stole the idea from America !
For now, this kind of high level predictive policing in case you’re wondering, falls some way short of Tom Cruise in Minority Report.
It requires static, inanimate victims of crime – like cars and houses – rather than anticipating a combination of human victim and criminal behaviour.