Issue - meetings

Presentation of the new 'PredPol' (Predictive Policing)software tool by Chief Inspector Painter

Meeting: 14/01/2013 - Crime & Disorder Scrutiny Committee (Item 23)

Presentation of the new 'PredPol' (Predictive Policing) software tool by Chief Inspector Painter


The Committee received a presentation from Chief Inspector Painter on the new ‘PredPol’ (Predictive Policing) software tool which is being piloted in Kent.


PredPol’ calculates its forecasts based on times and locations of previous crimes, combined with sociological information about criminal behavior and patterns.  The technology was created at Santa Cruz University and has been tested in the Santa Cruz, California Police Department with promising results.


A map of an area (Gravesham in this case) is marked up with small red squares, each indicating a 500-by-500-foot zone where crimes are likely to take place.  Police Officers spend at least ten minutes in each zone and deal with any matters that arise.


The Santa Cruz, California Police Department found that 15 minutes spent in a 500-by-500-foot zone held true for up to two hours.


Chief Inspector Painter advised that ‘PredPol’ is not a replacement for knowledge, skills and experience but is an accurate prediction of crime location and time. PredPol’ is a focal point for effective local policing.


The Committee discussed the potential advantages and disadvantages of ‘PredPol’.


Some Members of the Committee expressed concern that the software would hinder the public’s connection with the police by only focussing on small areas.  Some Members felt that the software was innovative and provided a tool for more effective use of resources.


The Chair thanked Chief Inspector Painter and Inspector Chris Carter for providing the Committee with an informative presentation.