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London Police Try to Predict Future Crime


London’s Metropolitan Police Service, in collaboration with Accenture, just tested a new predictive policing system to assess the likelihood of known gang members re-offending, and already people are comparing it to the pre-crime system in “Minority Report.” The pilot program combined four years of historic data of criminal activity across London with social media network analysis to predict which gang members were most likely to commit a violent crime in the following year. While the addition of social network analysis to existing big data capabilities represents the next big step in being able to predict wrongdoing and spot likely wrongdoers, we’re still a long way from having a pre-crime system that truly predicts, rather than just forecasts, potential crime.