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Police scrap crime predicting software

Police have scrapped plans for crime predicting software.

Computer software intended to predict when and where crimes would occur has been scrapped by the UK police, after it was revealed the system wasn't producing definitively positive results.

Kent Police was the first force in England and Wales to adopt the "predictive policing" system in 2013, but it has been claimed that it was "challenging" to demonstrate whether the system had enabled police to reduce crime.

But despite the plans being scrapped, officers have said the software had been "really useful" for "proactive" policing.

Kent Police Federation chairman Chris Carter told the BBC: "When I was a neighbourhood inspector it was really useful to me. We deployed based on the information I was given from the system."

Superintendent John Phillips said the software allowed officers to "identify public spaces that would benefit from patrols", but noted it didn't actually predict crimes.

He said: "While it did not predict crime, it was used as a preventative tool and supported the force's focus at the time on neighbourhood policing.

"The launch of a new policing model that places victims and witnesses at its centre, has led Kent Police to evaluate alternative options which will support a focus on both traditional and emerging crime types."

The crime predicting software worked by using past trends and current information to predict when and where crime is likely to happen.

It was rolled out across the country in April 2013 after a four-month trial in Medway saw street violence fall by 6 percent.

Crime increased in the first year of its use, although police admitted at the time this was because officers did not know how to use the software.

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