Of all the digital tools available to the police in their work, hardly any have caused as much of a stir as “predictive policing”. For some years now, technologies for predictive policing have been used in different German states – with the Hessian police were among the first to use it. Since then, Since then, sometimes unrealistic ideas about its potential have been circulating among both opponents and supporters of its implementation. Nevertheless, it is clear that the pressure of digitalisation has affected police work and will bring about further changes. It should be just as clear though, that people must be able to rely on their fundamental rights being respected when algorithms generate suspicions with the help of databases and models – especially since, from a scientific point of view, it is anything but certain that methods like predictive policing work at all.
As a sociologist, Simon Egbert has studied the effects of automated data analyses and taken a close look at predictive policing. In this episode of “Digitalgespräch”, he explains the technologies behind it, how they work and are being used, and how they differ from other digital policing methods – that might deserve at least as much media attention. In the ZEVEDI podcast, he talks with hosts Marlene Görger and Petra Gehring about the hype and reality of predictive policing, possible consequences for the everyday work of police officers and the dangers for citizens’ rights.
Episode 8 of “Digitalgespräch”, feat. Simon Egbert of Universität Bielefeld , 21. September 2021
Link to the open access publication “Criminal Futures: Predictive Policing and Everyday Police Work” by Simon Egbert and Matthias Leese:
all episodes of “Digitalgespräch”