Can Machine Learning Predict and Prevent Crimes?

Many organizations are continuously researching machine learning and artificial intelligence methods that can help in detecting and preventing crimes. Across the globe, artificial intelligence and machine learning have helped intelligence services, security departments, and government to improve their security. Then, why not prevent and predict crime?

Is it possible?

It sure is.

Machine learning’s deep learning is known for its high predictive accuracy and we all know most of the crimes are predictable. We just need the right method to understand the patterns and find the people who are willing to commit a crime.

In recent times, many organizations have tried making this a reality in various ways.

Let’s discuss some of these inventions.

GunFire Detection

The company ShotSpotter claims that its newly development AI-based system can inform the police about the gunshot with accuracy. The system can give relevant information and the location of the gunshot.

The system uses various sensors to detect a gunshot, then a machine learning algorithm detects the location through various factors such as time of gunshot, level of noise, etc.

The company further explains that only 20% of the total gunshots are reported to the authorities and rest go unnoticed. From the 20% that are actually reported, most of the times the person informing the police is unable to define the exact location, scene, etc. They are simply unable to offer exact information related to the gunshot.

Looking at the situation, ML technology can change the situation and help in detecting gunshots sooner than later.

Security Cameras

There is a Chinese organization named Hikvision, which says that it can create deep neural network cameras. These cameras have the ability to even focus on the number plate of the cars and detect the face of the driver. This way they can track wanted criminals with 99% accuracy.

In fact, this invention can help us detect unwanted bags and objects which are sometimes left in crowded locations for a bomb blast.

The company explained that they are using artificial intelligence to check plate numbers, facial recognition, and unattended bag recognition. The difference they are making is centrally processing data within the camera only and not the cloud. This improves the speed and accuracy of detection while reducing the cost of processing.

Predicting Crime Spots

One company PredPol says that they can predict future crime locations using their machine learning algorithm. This algorithm takes into account historical data and recent crime scenes to predict the next spot of crime by analyzing the pattern of crime.

For example, if a burglary has happened in one neighborhood, the algorithm can check historical data and pattern of this burglary to predict the next crime spot.

Crime is a crucial activity which is very hard to detect even when extremely intelligent humans are involved. If this technology is fully developed, think of how much it can help the human intelligence department to detect potential crime spots and stop numerous crimes from even happening.

Predicting the Criminal

It is one thing to stop crime because that is something which was still being achieved by human intelligence department on some level. But, predicting the criminal – that is something new.

A company Cloud Walk says that they can predict if a person is about to commit a crime. They are using gait analysis and facial recognition technology together for this prediction.

For example, when a person is pacing back and forth at one place. Another instance that the owner of the organization explained is that what if a person purchases a kitchen knife? Of course, there is nothing wrong with it. But, what if this person goes on and purchases a rope, sack, or a hammer later. Now, do you think this person is about to commit a crime?


The increasing possibility of crime and innovative methods used by criminals have made it harder for police, government, and intelligence agencies to detect criminal activities. Using machine learning and artificial intelligence for detecting, predicting, and preventing crime can help us reduce the number of crimes and eliminate many of these.

Above all, these technologies can help us reduce terrorism because there are several ways (mentioned above) which can be used to detect terrorists and stop their criminal activities.

It is amazing that most of the above organizations are directly offering their intelligent systems to the government. Hence, it is automatically ensured that the government has access to any latest technology which can be used to prevent and predict crime.