More countries opting for Artificial Intelligence to prevent crime

Monday, 1 April 2019 00:13 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The number of countries using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to prevent crime is on the rise given the technology’s superiority. 

Already police departments in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and many other countries are using facial recognition, fingerprint scanning, surveillance systems, biometrics, and behavioural software monitoring to prevent crime before it occurs.  Experts said criminals cannot evade the system and will be constantly monitored, ensuring greater safety for local citizens. Such a system will also increase efficiency of the country’s legal system by ensuring felonies are directed to the court and its resources for criminal charges and trials, while infractions or petty offences can be fined by a smart, AI-driven system with facial recognition and fingerprint scanning. 

Experts said Sri Lanka, too, can benefit from a similar smart system. At present, the Budget of Sri Lanka Police alone is Rs. 65 billion and complete digitalisation of the Police leading to implementation of AI solutions and practices would require only an investment of Rs. 1 to 2 billion.

The potential of a database with criminal offences and records with personal identification and geotagging will also instil discipline in citizens and result in a reduced crime rate across the country, they noted.

Pollice in Vancouver, British Columbia, are deploying a machine learning solution that uses an algorithm to deconstruct crime patterns and help predict future offences.

Through spatial analytics, police are able to predict where residential break-and-enters will occur and place police patrols accordingly.

The department first trialled this technology with a pilot that reduced burglary by more than one-fifth month over month. Now they are making the intelligence-led approach common practice.

BBC recently reported that AI is the new weapon in the fight against crime. 

It said computer scientists at the University of Leon in north-west Spain and his team have been working with the Spanish National Cybersecurity Institute (INCIBE) to develop an evidence recognising tool that uses AI to identify objects in police photographs – and to search for links with other crimes. 

The BBC report also said AI technology is being used to analyse photographs, CCTV footage, evidence files and logs of crimes to help give them an edge over those who attempt to escape the long arm of the law. With police budgets in many parts of the world tightening, senior officers often hope AI will help shrinking departments cope. The public in turn are promised that their communities will be safer.

“Nearly 200 law enforcement agencies around the US are also using an algorithm developed by researchers at the University of Southern California that scours the internet for clues pointing to victims of human trafficking and the sex trade. It searches both the open and so-called dark web for information contained in sex adverts, unravelling the information they contain to help investigators track down potential victims,” the BBC report added.

According to a report from Israel Homeland Security, a new pattern detecting computer software has been developed by the New York Police Department to help catch criminals.

The NYPD has been using a new kind of software, developed in-house, that recognises certain behavioural patterns and compares them to a database of thousands of reported thefts, larcenies, and robberies. The software, better known as ‘Patternizr’, is a group of learning algorithms taken from 10 years of police data that scans through the information of crimes. Patternizr takes information from crimes, such as time, method of entry, and types of force used, and attempts to spot a certain pattern which can be used to help identify suspects.

Identifying crime patterns is a critical part in police investigations. Traditional methods of identifying patterns involve a lot legwork and manpower, something that would take up valuable time from analysts and detectives. Patternizr supplies detectives with a short list of potential suspects in much less time thanks to computer algorithms. This saves detectives a lot of time, which can allow for the detectives to better utilise their time in catching criminals, it said.