more importantly, it should be noted that these are essentially unproven systems that are being beta tested on largely minority groups. That something like this is happening in a country with a rule of law and at least in theory constitutional safeguards is reprehensible.
PredPol, the system in the article, does not do that. PredPol is primarily about mapping crime in space, and trying to predict which regions of space are most likely to have future crime. It doesn't focus on individuals in any way.
The people behind PredPol did run a randomized controlled field trial with LAPD and claim to have found reductions in crime by directing patrols to predicted hotspots . Hotspots policing studies generally have found reductions in crime when directing patrols to hotspots, or conducting targeted interventions (like improving street lighting, talking to local businesses, etc.). But I should note that running a good, well-controlled experiment of something like policing is very hard, so the quality of the evidence is not exactly astounding.
However, there are indeed constitutional implications, as you note. For example, if a model says an area is a "high crime area", police may be able to use that as part of the justification for stop-and-frisk, reducing the need for any individual suspicion or reason to search you. And, of course, there are fairness problems: high-crime areas tend to be poor and minority areas, and hotspots policing may harm trust in police (if they harass the residents for petty offenses) and either lead to overpolicing or underreporting of offenses.
I have a fairly thorough review of the literature on my website .
But what would be the purpose of it? Are you saying LAPD wants to put all black people in cages and then enjoy life in a city made exclusively of white (and chinese and indians)?
Or they simply enjoy being dickheads and stop-and-frisking people?
The why is an interesting thing to pursue, but I haven't seen a satisfactory explanation of why. The what and how are more clear, though.
It's mostly not about the fact that they're minorities. Ppeople have the misfortune of living in places with high enough population density to support this kind of policing just happen to be mostly minorities. The people pushing for Orwellian surveillance and policing of the inner city would be happy to expand it to the land of trees and double wide trailers were that practical to do so within current budgets.
I'm sure there's some racists here and there within government but not enough to be of consequence or to push these kinds of things on their own (IMO).
>Or they simply enjoy being dickheads and stop-and-frisking people?
They see themselves as "preventing crime" but I think it's a glass half-empty/half-full type distinction, not that it matters. It's a violation of people's rights no matter how you cut it.
Or would they prove useful in homogeneous populations with rises in certain kinds of crime?
I suspect that statement has a LOT of context behind it--citation please?
I could believe that increased policing simply pushes the crime around rather than gets rid of it.
> These are the same tactics in new clothes used to target PoC.
The question of whether policing simply pushes crime to another area is a popular one, and there's been a lot of work to answer it. It appears the answer is usually "no." Crime depends on several factors existing in one place: opportunities for crime, a lack of guardians, and motivated offenders. If you fix one area, the crime will spread to adjacent areas only if those three factors are present there.
The fairness and equity problems are, of course, severe. You may reduce crime with hotspots policing, but as the systematic review notes, "only a small number of studies examine the impacts of hot spots policing on police-community relations," or what disproportionate effects they have on any specific group.
It's completely false of course. Not only does policing decrease crime, the US is massively underpoliced under any cost-benefit analysis.
I find it surprising. I would be happy to see more police in where I live. In my layman's mind police, pretty much by definition, prevents and deters crime. They may not be perfect in that, but in most cases they're fine.
That would be the case if police were adequately trained and equipped. However US police forces on average (!!) are trained only for not even 9 months (per https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/police-training-killings-u...), which means that there are likely cases in which only weeks of training were given. German police, in contrast, train for two and a half / three years (per https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polizeiausbildung_in_Deutschla...).
That, combined with a lack of hiring standards (e.g. https://www.portlandmercury.com/blogtown/2019/06/19/26671582...) leads to the perception of police being nothing more than paid thugs with a uniform. The massive availability of guns as well as former military equipment in police hands doesn't help either, quite to the contrary. When I have an easy sledgehammer (=a tank and a gun), I'll shoot first and ask questions later.
When it comes to "overpolicing", you also have to note that it's way easier to arrest someone dealing/smoking cannabis on the street (mostly poor PoC) compared to arresting a rich white banker who is snorting cocaine on his desk.
With a rule driven machine, the rules and be reviewed for any direct form of prejudice and favouritism.
Poisoning your spouse now leads to a mandatory death penalty? Good. Now you'll just strangle her.
A gang is defined as 5 people or more? Excellent. All robberies are now performed by strictly no more than 4.99 people.
Crack is being cracked down upon? Fantastic. We'll smoke weed/tobacco/soap/whatever.
When there is an alternative, not using it is just dumb.