The ethical dangers and merits of predictive policing

  • Moish Kutnowski
Keywords: Predictive policing, big data, community safety, technology, policy planning, ethical policing, collaboration


Predictive policing is an emerging law enforcement technique that uses data and statistical analysis to aid in the identification of criminal activity. Its intention is to proactively reduce crime by providing police forces with likely areas of high risk variables. While this is a noble pursuit, every new tool must be accompanied by the ethical considerations of its potential consequences. Predictive policing is still in its infancy, borne from crime analysis and big data; however, the Western criminal justice system in the traditional sense is a reactive institution with a diverse history. The use of predictive policing presents a new challenge for law enforcement in that it allows for a divergence from the distinct reality of modern policing. Using the United States as an example of the dangers and flaws of predictive policing as a discretionary tool used to justify questionable processes and biases, this paper will analyze the potential opportunity that predictive policing and new holistic forms of law enforcement and community safety initiatives can use in partnerships with communities and policy makers.

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How to Cite
KutnowskiM. (2017). The ethical dangers and merits of predictive policing. Journal of Community Safety and Well-Being, 2(1), 13-17.
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