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Fri Jan 11, 2019, 04:44 PM

A UK police force is dropping tricky cases on advice of an algorithm

A police force in the UK is using an algorithm to help decide which crimes are solvable and should be investigated by officers. As a result, the force trialling it now investigates roughly half as many reported assaults and public order offences.

This saves time and money, but some have raised concerns that the algorithm could bake in human biases and lead to some solvable cases being ignored. The tool is currently only used for assessing assaults and public order offences, but may be extended to other crimes in the future.

When a crime is reported to police, an officer is normally sent to the scene to find out basic facts. An arrest can be made straight away, but in the majority of cases police officers use their experience to decide whether a case is investigated further. However, due to changes in the way crimes are recorded over the past few years, police are dealing with significantly more cases.

The Evidence Based Investigation Tool (EBIT) instead uses an algorithm to produce a probability score of a crime’s solvability. Kent Police, which has previously experimented with using algorithms (see “Predicting crime”, below), has been using EBIT for a year to assess the solvability of assaults and public order offences, such as threatening someone in the street. These types of offences account for around a third of all crime in the area.

Before the force began using EBIT, officers decided to pursue around 75 per cent of cases. This has now dropped to 40 per cent as a result of the algorithm, while the number of charges and cautions has remained the same, according to Kent Police.

“Police officers naturally want to investigate everything to catch offenders. But if the solvability analysis suggests there is no chance of a successful investigation, the resources might be better used on other investigations,” says Ben Linton at the Metropolitan Police, who isn’t involved with the project.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2189986-a-uk-police-force-is-dropping-tricky-cases-on-advice-of-an-algorithm/

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Reply A UK police force is dropping tricky cases on advice of an algorithm (Original post)
Troll2 Jan 11 OP
Gamle-ged Jan 11 #1
Troll2 Jan 11 #2
rahtruelies Jan 11 #3
Troll2 Jan 11 #4
Red Bull Jan 11 #5

Response to Troll2 (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 04:54 PM

1. How long before someone determines what the algorithm is measuring and makes available...

... for a price, a handbook, "How Not to Get Caught?" My guess would be, it's already available...


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Response to Gamle-ged (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 05:12 PM

2. If criminals don't know how not to get caught, they get educated during their first sentence.

Which is why prisoners should never be allowed to communicate with each other.

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Response to Troll2 (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 05:15 PM

3. anything for more donut & coffee time for the barneys

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Response to rahtruelies (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 05:41 PM

4. Less than half of violent crimes and about a sixth of property crimes are cleared

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Response to Troll2 (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 07:00 PM

5. If Alluah Akhbar

Is any where in the reporting of the crime it is unsolvable, move along!

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