New Software Helps to Predict Crimes and Catch Criminals


New technology in the world of police and crime aims at making it easier to catch criminals. Researchers and computer experts are working on new computer programs that try to find out which areas of a city might be more prone to crime than others.

The software analyzes how police have patrolled certain districts of a city in the past and compares this information to present day data. This data is also compared to behavior patterns of criminals.  While it may take humans hours to spot a certain pattern, machines can do this in a short time. The program has been successfully tested in the United States and Great Britain.

Software giants like IBM are helping combat crime. The company states that over the past years it has helped to bring down crime in Memphis by 30%. Software programs help find out where the city’s hotspots are so that police can concentrate on patrolling certain areas.

In Los Angeles a similar program is being tested with the help of another computer company. The city’s police supervisor states that working with serious data is far better than just tracing calls and hoping to get lucky in catching a criminal.

In Great Britain millions of pounds have been spent on TV surveillance. Although government officials say that CCTV is working critics say that despite getting camera images from all over the country there are not enough police officers patrolling the streets.

In the future the European Union hopes to combine both techniques, sophisticated computer software paired with camera surveillance. One of the problems is that there is too much video material, which makes it impossible for the police to examine. With special software a lot of footage could be examined in a relatively short period of time.



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  • aim = plan; want to do something
  • although = while
  • behavior pattern = here: how criminals act in certain situations
  • bring down = reduce
  • CCTV = closed circuit television  = a system of cameras in public places  and buildings used to help prevent crime
  • certain = special
  • combat = fight against
  • combine = put together
  • compare = to show how two things are the same or not the same
  • concentrate = focus on
  • crime = illegal activities in general
  • data = information
  • despite = while
  • district = part, area
  • examine = look at closely
  • footage = movie that shows a certain event
  • giant = very big company
  • hotspot = place where there is more crime than anywhere else
  • image = picture
  • impossible = not possible
  • official= person in a high position
  • pair = put together with
  • patrol = to go around an area and check that there is no trouble or danger
  • prone = here: likely to suffer from crime
  • researcher = person who studies a subject closely and wants to find out more about it
  • serious = real
  • similar = like
  • sophisticated = complicated , highly developed
  • spot = find out, notice
  • supervisor = boss
  • surveillance = to watch someone carefully because they might be connected with criminal activity
  • trace = to find where a call came from