'Precrime' Database For London Homicide Prevention Unit
Criminal profilers working for the London Metropolitan Police's Homicide Prevention Unit are putting together a list of 100 future murderers.
I believe I am reading these reports correctly; they are not simply keeping a list of, let's say, murderers who have done their time in prison and are now at large. This pilot project seeks to identify people who will in the future commit serious crimes.
(Minority Report precrime unit computer room)
No, they are not using precogs (precognitives - people who can see into the future) like the ones used in Philip K. Dick's Minority Report with their own special precrime analytical wing:
Doors opened and closed, and they were in the analytical wing. Ahead of them rose impressive banks of equipment - the data-receptors, and the computing mechanisms that studied and restructured the incoming material. And beyond the machinery sat the three precogs, almost lost to view in the maze of wiring...
In the gloomy half-darkness the three idiots sat babbling.
(Read more about the precogs in Minority Report's precrime analytical wing)
Instead they are using databases. It appears that the Unit is creating psychological profiles of likely offenders to predict patterns of behavior. Statements from former partners, information from mental health workers and details of past complaints are being combined to identify the 100 men most likely to commit murder in the near future.
Once an individual has been identified, police would decide whether to begin arrest proceedings, or alert social services who could steer targeted individuals into "management programs."
Many people are concerned that the UK is taking too many steps in the direction of Big Brother; information commissioner Richard Thomas is concerned that they are setting up a "surveillance society." Simon Davies, director of Privacy International, told the Times "It is quite right that the police should keep intelligence on suspected criminals, but it is obscene to suggest there should be a ‘crime idol’ list of those who might commit an offence."
Those of you who would shrug and say "what do the innocent have to fear from tight surveillance" might try a different approach - ask about the cost. Since 1994, Britain has installed 4.2 million closed circuit television cameras (CCTVs) throughout the country. Homicide rates have stayed approximately the same.
If you are interested in this concept, you might take a look at this earlier effort in which New York (USA) police officers try to predict robberies - and it worked!
Read a bit more here and here.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/28/2006)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
We Could Downgrade Puerto Rico - And Thereby Save It
'It was cheaper to pay the refugees to go without up-to-the-minute equipment.' - John Brunner, 1976.
The Neuroon Open Sleep Tracker For Lucid Dreaming
'Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer on the bedside shelf.' - Peter Watts, 1999.
'Do Not Pay' Chatbots To Replace Law Firm Associates?
'I want my lawyer program.' - David Brin, 1990.
Translate One2One From IBM's Watson Your Communication Solution
'It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix...' - Douglas Adams, 1979.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Orwell's Memory Hole Looms Larger Thanks To Nvidia
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'
Pipefish Robot Checks Pipes Cheap
Just like capsule endoscopy, but for bigger pipes. That go underground.
Nifty New SDS Space Debris Sensor For ISS
'Their radars... could easily pinpoint the debris of the early Space Age.'
NanoRacks Space Station Module Concept Validated
Space junk into space architecture.
Nuclear Drones Could Fly For Years
'I sent my eyes on their rounds and tended my gallery of one hundred-thirty changing pictures...'
SciFiQ Science Fiction Writing Aid
'Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.'
Robot Only Faster, Not Better, At Recycling
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window.'
Poland Starts With 1000 Warmate 'Suicide Drones'
'Royal Security had told the pods to electrocute you or blast you into chum.'
Dream Of Building Your Own Rocket?
Fiorello Bodoni, you inspire all of us.
Zero Mass 'Vaporators' Pull Drinking Water From The Air
Did you think of Star Wars?
Elon Musk Fears A 'Fleet-Wide Hack' Of Autonomous Vehicles
'Khan grinned. 'It's alive! Bu-wahhahahah!''
China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?'
iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
Doctor shortage? No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.
Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.'
Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.
RNA-Based Biocomputing Device
Living things can sense and analyze complex signals in living cells.
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories