It may sound like a sci-fi movie, but Big Data is helping police spot where criminals will strike next.

Predictive policing, which calls on analytics and digital tools to help police officers better predict, understand and fight crime, is showing real-world results when it comes to dropping crime rates.

But as police departments in cities and counties in countries like United Satates pilot the technology, new concerns are cropping up around the equity and long-term efficacy of the practice.

Earlier this year, Chicago’s 7th District Police reported plummeting crime rates as a result of algorithms and tools, such as digital maps, which augment the city’s police force of more than 12,500 officers, Reuters reports.


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