Minority Report precogs

Vic police using ‘precogs’ data tool to predict youth crime

It’s been revealed that the Victorian Police force have been making use of a new secretive data tool that tracks youths, which predicts those that are likely to commit a crime.

Sounding like something straight out of the movies, the tool was used to track youths that fit a series of criteria that categorised them as “youth network offenders”.

To be classified as such youths were evaluated based on age and number of offences committed looking at persons of interests from 10 to 22 years old.

In a report published by Monash University professor Leanne Weber, 40 to 60 youths were classified as youth network offenders within the Dandenong area with 240 in the wider region.

“We can run that tool now and it will tell us – like the kid might be 15 – it tells how many crimes he is going to commit before he is 21 based on that, and it is a 95% accuracy,” one senior officer told Weber. “It has been tested.”

The fear here is that despited being “tested”, the tool may inadvertently target those from more culturally diverse backgrounds. Similar programs and tools have been trialled and stopped in both NSW, Los Angeles and New Orleans for disproportionately targeted minorities.

Source: The Guardian

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