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Durham Police to use artificial intelligence to help decide if suspects should be held in custody

Durham Police are to use artificial intelligence to help them decide whether or not to keep suspects in custody

Police in Durham are set to use artificial intelligence (AI) to help them decide whether to keep suspects in custody.

According to the BBC, the system, which is known as the Harm Assessment Risk Tool (Hart), uses past data to decide the level of risk of re-offending. It has been trained on five years of data and the system was tested in 2013.

Sheena Urwin, head of criminal justice at Durham Constabulary, told the BBC that decisions were still made by officers during the trial in which the system was monitored. “I imagine in the next two to three months we’ll probably make it a live tool to support officers’ decision making,” she told the BBC.

In 2014, Computer weekly reported that the Metropolitan Police was experimenting with analytics software to help predict which criminals are likely to re-offend.

A 20-week pilot run by the Met Police and IT service provider Accenture used historical data on gang crime across London and predictive analysis software to work out the likelihood of an individual committing a crime again.

The pilot ran data related to all known gangs in London through Accenture analytics. It combined historic data from various crime reporting and criminal intelligence systems and applied predictive analytics to forecast the likelihood of known individuals committing violent crimes.

The boundaries of AI in the workplace are getting wider. Repetitive tasks, including IT and business processes as well as more complex financial advice roles, are already being completed by software robots and replacing thousands of people. According to Gartner, by 2022 even tasks completed by highly skilled professionals could be replaced.

Read more on Artificial intelligence, automation and robotics

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