Precobs has been used in Switzerland since 2013. The system tries to predict burglaries from past data, based on the assumption that burglars often operate in small areas. If a cluster of burglaries is detected in a neighborhood, the police should patrol that neighborhood more often to put an end to it, the theory goes. Since 2010 burglaries have fallen in all swiss Cantons, and the three cantons (ZH, AG & BL) that used Precobs are nowhere near the best performers, so no correlation between this system of automated crime prediction and decreasing numbers of burglaries could be established. This is backed by a 2019 report by the University of Hamburg. In the Canton Basel Land, Precobs is not used anymore since 2020, as it no longer meets the increased requirements of crime analysis.


Location-based predictive policing to prevent burglaries


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