Precision Policing and Artificial Intelligence

What is Precision Policing?

Policing is an extremely complex act. In recent years, public trust in the police has declined in many countries across the globe. This distrust defeats the purpose of the existence of law enforcement which is to make citizens feel safe. The need to re-establish this trust and create effective policing systems has given rise to the birth of Precision Policing. 

Precision Policing is an organizational framework that is data and community-driven and geared towards effective crime reduction and trust-building. This framework involves leveraging new technology to conduct crime analysis and make law enforcement decisions.

Precision policing is a focused policing system that is built on the premise that crime is usually concentrated in specific regions and community engagement backed by evidence-based crime-fighting will drive improvements in the quality of service delivery by law enforcement.

There are four core tenets on which precision policing is built:

i. Technology-driven and Evidence-Based Crime Prevention - This tenet is of the notion that crime is perpetrated by a specific group of people and is concentrated in small regions. As a result, law enforcement agencies need to focus on investing in advanced technologies as well as quality data and intelligence gathering, archiving and analysis through sophisticated hardware and software tools. It also calls for a regular review of crime data to ascertain progress.

ii. Community Engagement & Protection - Here, the police must engage community members as a group and as individuals in pursuing community-oriented approaches to prevent and solve crimes. 

iii. Transparency & Accountability - Introducing transparency in policing means creating systems that encourage robust information and data sharing with the public. It also requires reviewing routine indicators to evaluate police performance and adopting technologies that monitor and give public reports on police actions.

iv. Officer Performance, Safety and Wellness - Reliable policing relies on having reliable police officers. As such, it is necessary to create structures that promote the mental and physical well-being of police officers. It is also vital to ensure that personnel are trained in core areas such as communication, bias, interpersonal skills etc. 

Achieving Precision Policing and Crime Prevention with Artificial Intelligence

Adopting Artificial Intelligence in Precision Policing is in direct adherence to the first tenet which calls for employing advanced technologies to acquire and process data. AI can be used to do this and also to create valuable insights that revolutionize the police force. Some of these ways are described below:

i. Crime mapping: Historical data can be used to create “risk-maps” i.e. areas where crime is predicted to be highest considering other variables such as time of the day, season, festivals, etc. This can help improve efficient personnel allocation and improve surveillance methods. 

ii. Gunshot triangulation: AI can pinpoint a gunshot's location, provide real-time analysis of the nature of the weapon and alert police officers and other emergency response systems for prompt intervention and life-saving.

iii. Image recognition: Facial recognition is an important use case for the identification of wanted individuals or persons of interest. Image recognition can also be used in large outdoor gatherings to identify suspicious packages or bags left unattended. Vehicle tracking via plates identification is also a possibility using Computer Vision technology.

iv. Social media monitoring: As discovered from many mass shooting incidents, attackers tend to have social media persona and patterns of behavior suggestive of possible future threat or crime. Through the use of Natural Language Processing and other sophisticated algorithms, text or speech language on social media that are highly predictive of crime can be identified for review and possible action.



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