But now it's sliding into a Philip K. Dick future, too. According to an article in the Times, UK police forces are setting up a pre-crime department...
Criminal profilers are drawing up a list of the 100 most dangerous murderers and rapists of the future even before they commit such crimes, The Times has learnt.The big question is: How accurate are these models? I'm sure the intentions are good (but then, we all know what paves the roads to Hell), but the risks of ruining innocent people's lives are just too great.
The highly controversial database will be used by police and other agencies to target suspects before they can carry out a serious offence. Pilot projects to identify the highest-risk future offenders have been operating in five London boroughs for the past two months.
Experts from the Metropolitan Police’s Homicide Prevention Unit are creating psychological profiles of likely offenders to predict patterns of criminal behaviour. Statements from former partners, information from mental health workers and details of past complaints are being combined to identify the men considered most likely to commit serious violent crimes.
Ms Richards said that once an individual had been identified, police would decide whether to make moves towards an arrest, or to alert the relevant social services who could steer those targeted into “management programmes.”
"If it saves just one child" is a delightful sentiment, but how many families will be blighted by an incorrect profile?
A Philip K. Dick future, without the drug cushion...
[Link via wendyg]