Predictive Policing

Evaluation of the Pilot Project P4 in Baden-W├╝rttemberg/Germany

In response to increasing rates of domestic burglary in Germany over the past few years, police and policy-makers are attempting to determine new ways to stop or, ideally, reverse this trend. In this context, methods of predictive policing are being applied and tested in some of the federal states of Germany. On October 30, 2015 the Pilot Project Predictive Policing P4 was started in Baden-Württemberg. Coordinated by the State Office of Criminal Investigations, the project was conducted in the police departments of Karlsruhe and Stuttgart. As in Bavaria and some areas of Switzerland, the computer software PRECOBS (offered by the German company 'Institut für musterbasierte Prognosetechnik') was employed to predict near-repeat burglary events and to apply subsequent target-oriented operational planning.   

The project was designed to produce open-ended and unbiased results and therefore included an external scientific evaluation conducted by the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law. Automatically generated predictive policing data were analyzed to obtain assessments of practicality and information concerning crime preventive aspects. In addition, semi-structured interviews with the police officers operating the software and an online survey with more than 700 participants were carried out.

The results have been published in an evaluation report (in German). An English text, summarizing the main findings, will be made available shortly.


Project category: Research project
Organisational status: Departmental project
Project time frame: Beginning of project: 2016
End of project: 2018
Status of Project: ongoing
Project language(s): German / English
Structure: Predictive Policing, Crime Prediction, Near-Repeat, PRECOBS

Head(s) of project

Contributors / Researchers

  • Hannah Straub, M.A. [Email]

The English version will be available soon [German version].

  • Last update: 3 January 2018
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