By MIKE JACCARINO
PUBLISHED: 17:17 EST, 30 July 2012 | UPDATED: 17:18 EST, 30 July 2012
A futuristic technology known as ‘predictive policing’ harkening to the flick, Minority Report, is now helping police collar criminals before the crime occurs.
More and more, U.S. and foreign authorities, who once relied only on brains, brawn and luck, are adopting an analytical software that anticipates crimes – and their locations.
The concept sounds like the 2002 Tom Cruise thriller, although here police are employing sophisticated algorithms instead of brainy, psychic ‘Pre-Cogs’ that are able to mystically predict where a criminal will strike.
Officers from Santa Cruz, California, to Memphis, Tennessee, as well as European agencies from Poland to Britain, have adopted these new computer-borne techniques.
The premise is simple: Criminals often follow patterns. And with modern software – the same kind that a major retailer like Wal-Mart uses to calculate consumer trends – police can make educated guesses where the next crime will take place.
‘When you go shopping, you go to a place where they have the things you’re looking for… The criminal wants to go where he will be successful also’
Armed with the information, authorities can sometimes beat the criminal to the punch.
Colleen McCue, a behavioral scientist, likened parsing criminal patterns to examining other types of human behavior — like shopping.
McCue works for GeoEye, a firm that assists U.S. Homeland Security and local law enforcement with predictive analytics,
‘When you go shopping, you go to a place where they have the things you’re looking for… the criminal wants to go where he will be successful also.’