Law Enforcement and the Future Considered

Are we approaching the “pre-crime” scenario of the Minority Report? Some say yes, and there is good reasoning as to why this is. One only has to do a little reading to see that the Electronic Freedom Foundation is hard at work getting to the bottom of it all, and how the conspiracy crowd is let’s just say; a little unnerved. And regardless of whether you may be a criminal not wishing to be found out, or just an honest citizen worried about your privacy – either way you should be concerned.

In the Futurist Magazine for July-August there was a great article by Eric Meade entitled; “Scanning The Future of Law Enforcement”

This was a great study Eric Meade and I am going to have to recommend that you look it up online and read this article. Now then, there are some things I’ve been noticing on this front, and I see several trends which have been broken. For instance, it has historically been known that when foreclosure rates go up by 1% that crime increases at a ratio of 2.2%, and yet, we have record unemployment and foreclosures.

So, we know that didn’t happen, but police license plate reader camera unions, tacticians, and others warned of this potential eventuality. So that’s one interesting point. Another would be the work being done with using GIS/GPS ArcView geo-pointing strategies to pin-point the probable crime that may occur in an area down to the city block level – it’s amazingly accurate, and makes police departments very efficient in scheduling assets and officers.

Great stuff, unless the criminals have the same data, and know where you are not looking, thus, one the data cat is out of the bag, you still need a randomness component or a threat of one to curb crime while deleting sides to the “Crime Triangle” – which also makes sense.

Now then, more sensors, license plate readers, cameras, etc, along with more of the public with digital cameras on their smart phones or even video helps too. But with more and more data, the Fusion Centers are going to end up with far too much data, far too many false positives and this too is a problem – cost, time, effort, assets – i.e. too few criminals too much policing whether computers, AI systems, sensors, data storage, or personnel.

Will all this get worked out? Yes, but until then “probability” algorithms must be carefully calibrated, as a person in the US is STILL innocent until proven guilty, and pre-crime is a futurist’s nightmare indeed. If this topic is of importance to you, then pick up your cell phone and discuss it with a friend.