(Telegraph) – Two police forces have begun trialling the sophisticated programme, which has echoes of the Tom Cruise film Minority Report, where psychics are used to stop criminals before they commit a crime.
The system, known as Crush (Criminal Reduction Utilising Statistical History) evaluates crime records, intelligence briefings, offender profiles and even weather reports, to identify potential flashpoints where a crime is most likely to occur.
The “predictive analytics” technology has been credited as a key factor behind a 31 per cent fall in crime and 15 per cent drop in violent crime in Memphis, Tennessee, according to The Observer.
John Williams, of the Memphis Crime Analysis Unit, said: “This is more of a proactive tool than reacting after crimes have occurred.
“This pretty much puts officers in the area at the time that the crimes are being committed.”
The software has been developed by IBM which has invested $11 billion in analytics over the past four years.
Mark Cleverley, the company’s head of government strategy, said: “What the technology does is what police officers have always done, sometimes purely on instinct – looking for patterns to work out what is likely to happen next.
“What is different is the scale on which the systems operates and the speed at which the analysis takes place.”