Predictive Policing Blog

What PredPol is and What PredPol is NOT

Posted on Nov 19, 2015 12:21:35 PM in Uncategorized

What is PredPol?

The National Institute for Justice explains that "predictive policing tries to harness the power of information, geospatial technologies and evidence-based intervention models to reduce crime and improve public safety. This two-pronged approach — applying advanced analytics to various data sets, in conjunction with intervention models — can move law enforcement from reacting to crimes into the realm of predicting what and where something is likely to happen and deploying resources accordingly."

PredPol’s predictive policing is the sum of two parts:

  1. Predictive Policing Technology: An algorithm developed from high-level mathematics and sociological and statistical analysis of criminality. This algorithm factors in historical crime data from the police department and produces predictions on where and when a crime is most likely to occur.
  1. Insights of officers and crime analysts. According the National Institute of Justice: "the predictive policing approach does not replace traditional policing. Instead, it enhances existing approaches such as problem-oriented policing, community policing, intelligence-led policing and hot spot policing.”

What PredPol is NOT

Heat Mapping

Predictive policing is more than traditional hotspot mapping. Predictive Policing’s forecasting technology includes high-level mathematics, machine learning, and proven theories of crime behavior, that take a forward-looking approach to crime prevention.


In fact, a 6 month randomized controlled trial found that crime analysts using PredPol technology in addition to their existing tools are twice as effective as experienced crime analysts using hotspot mapping alone.

A Guarantee of an Incident or Arrest

While PredPol’s predictive boxes predict that a crime will happen in the prediction area, there is no guarantee that an incident or arrest will occur. AND THAT’S THE POINT! The presence of police officers in the prediction areas creates a deterrence and suppression effect, thus preventing crime in the first place.



PredPol predicts where and when a crime is most likely to occur, not who.

PredPol does not collect, upload, analyze or in any way involve any information about individuals or populations and their characteristics – PredPol’s software technology does not pose any personal privacy or profiling concerns.  The algorithm uses only three pieces of data – type, place, and time – of past crimes.


PredPol is set up to work with a Department’s own technology within weeks and requires no new hiring or hardware. PredPol’s actionable predictions are produced for each shift in one tap or click, and can be printed or accessed securely through computers or mobile devices in patrol cars and in the field. Deployable within weeks, PredPol can be purchased for competitive rates that are straightforward with no user limits or hidden costs.