Tom Cruise-style policing bid to predict crime

Tuesday 18 September 2012 Updated: 20/09 10:50

Tom Cruise predicted crime in the Hollywood film Minority Report.

POLICE in the West Midlands are trying to predict crime.

They revealed this week they were using scientific methods to map out movements of burglars to try to work out where they might strike next.

A trial of the Hollywood-style of policing began three weeks ago and will run until next summer.

Superintendent Alex Murray said: "The experiment is about putting the oil where the squeak is, by this I mean we hope to reduce the number of burglaries and the number of repeat victims by working smarter and putting our officers exactly where they are needed.

"We never underestimate the impact that a burglary has on the victim and this tactic will hopefully predict where the next burglary is going to take place allowing us to prevent it before it happens."

The predictive policing project is based on research by the Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science which shows direct neighbours and the neighbours of neighbours are also vulnerable within a two week period of a burglary taking place.

It also shows there is a strong relationship between different types of streets and burglary rates.

Officers will carry out more patrols in targeted areas while those at risk of being burgled will be provided with locks, alarms, timers and fake TV devices.

The trial is in Birmingham, but if successful it could be used across the region.

In the Hollywood firm Minority Report starring Tom Cruise the specialised PreCrime units apprehends criminals based on information provided by three psychics.

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