A city in Japan has developed a system in which the police can anticipate the occurrence of a crime even before it takes place.
Kyoto police have been utilizing a tool called the Predictive Crime Defense System (Yosokugata Hanzai Bogyo System), a computer software that reportedly predicts the time and place where certain types of crime are most likely to be committed.
Officers simply need to input the crime and the specific time of day into the tool and it would yield areas in a map marked with color-coded sectors. A darker area means there is a higher risk that the type of crime is occurring at the moment.
It works by running calculations based on historical crime data each area and looks for trends in criminal incidence from the data. With the report, police can then modify their patrol schedules accordingly, allowing them to monitor the highest risk areas.
The new system was recently adopted by the Kyoto Prefectural police earlier this year and is currently used by the officers assigned in the prefecture.
Officers in patrol cars have since been monitoring the areas with a higher chance of sexual assault. The police have also been extra vigilant in monitoring suspicious activity in areas where a robbery is likely to happen as recommended by the system.
According to RocketNews24, the inspiration for its computer system was from a project in Santa Cruz, California, which has been utilizing a similar system in detecting crime for years. The program has reportedly yielded a 20% reduction in criminal activity.
Despite being grounded in reality, netizens have quickly drawn comparisons to different sci-fi lores which use similar strategies in dealing with crime, such as the anime “Psycho-Pass” and the Spielberg directed “Minority Report”.
It is interesting to point out, however, that the real-life crime predicting technology has brought up similar ethical concerns that were found in the fictional universes.
Will a person at a scene of a crime yet to happen be considered a criminal simply for being there?
As the Predictive Crime Defense System is set to be implemented nationwide soon, hopefully, such concerns will be immediately addressed.