Reply to post: Re: Bobbies on the Beat

MPs call for 'immediate' stop to facial recog in UK as report underlines bias risks in 'pre-crime' algos used by coppers

Mike 137 Bronze badge

Re: Bobbies on the Beat

What they actually seem to be saying is that an uneven distribution of bobbies on the beat (more in some areas than others) will inevitably result in higher detection and prevention rates where there are more of them than where there are fewer. If, in an ideal world, PC Dixon and colleagues pounded the beat everywhere at the same rate, the differential would not occur. The problem is that policing has got too costly (like a lot of other societal goods) so there aren't enough bobbies to go round. Hence the (unfortunately flawed) notion of trying to predict where they'll be most needed. Its origin is little different from that of the robotisation of contact centres, self service checkouts, online "help" systems etc. - people have got too expensive, so we try to replace them with "technologies" we assume to be perfect until we find out too late we were wrong.

So this is just a badly thought out part of a desperate attempt to make do with inadequate resources. There's no hidden agenda in it, but that doesn't mean it won't backfire spectacularly if it gets to be the norm.

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