Keeping Score: Predictive Analytics in Policing

Dylan J. Fitzpatrick, Wilpen L. Gorr, Daniel B. Neill

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Predictive analytics in policing is a data-driven approach to (a) characterizing crime patterns across time and space and (b) leveraging this knowledge for the prevention of crime and disorder. This article outlines the current state of the field, providing a review of forecasting tools that have been successfully applied by police to the task of crime prediction. We then discuss options for structured design and evaluation of a predictive policing program so that the benefits of proactive intervention efforts are maximized given fixed resource constraints. We highlight examples of predictive policing programs that have been implemented and evaluated by police agencies in the field. Finally, we discuss ethical issues related to predictive analytics in policing and suggest approaches for minimizing potential harm to vulnerable communities while providing an equitable distribution of the benefits of crime prevention across populations within police jurisdiction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-491
Number of pages19
JournalAnnual Review of Criminology
StatePublished - Jan 13 2019


  • crime forecasting
  • crime hot spots
  • predictive policing
  • proactive policing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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