Is Minority Report Here? A Look at Advanced Crime Predicting Technologies (Infographic)


We’re not at the point where psychic “precogs” lie floating, tethered to computers in the bowels of some secret police headquarters, slipping your name to Tom Cruise so he can drop through your roof and arrest you for pre-crimes. Yet… But we are getting closer.

According to data compiled by, police and other law enforcement agencies have been using “predictive policing” as far back as 1993 when the NYPD began using what they called COMPSTAT to analyze past crime data. And now police departments nationwide are using similar information, along with maps of past crimes, real-time data, and some pretty robust algorithms to identify crime hotspots and prevent crimes.

The results are impressive: dramatic decreases in crime in those areas, with billions saved in personnel and other costs. But at what cost? Are we getting closer to a world where you can be arrested just because the data predicts you might commit a crime? Sounds like some far fetched premise J.J. Abrams might come up with…

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