Professor Andrew Ferguson was quoted in The Independenton a new mathematical algorithm developed by UCLA that allows law enforcement to conduct "predictive policing."
"What happens if officers turn up at a 500ft x 500ft area, on the
look out for burglaries, see a guy with a black bag, search him and find
it contains stolen goods? If that
case goes to court, there will be the question of whether it was
reasonable for the officer to suspect he was committing a crime."
computerized predictive policing catches on, Ferguson expects a test
case eventually to work its way up to the US Supreme Court. In the
meantime, he expects noisy kickback from civil rights groups. "That a
computer can effectively curtail the Fourth Amendment rights of
individuals in certain areas would be particularly troubling to the
civil liberties lobby," he says.
"There will also be concerns that
if police wanted to target certain areas, or demographics, then they
could simply tweak the algorithm to ensure officers visit certain