• Name: Programa de Alta Dedicación Operativa (PADO) (Uruguai)
  • Area of Application: Policing
  • What kind of AI according to the project's official information: Machine learning

  • Goals: Reduce crimes against property

  • How does it work according to the project's official information: “These programs perform machine learning; that is, they detect patterns in the data it feeds on and then repeats them in future predictions. The reports make it possible to identify the months, days, and times of day in which crime occurs most frequently, identify the criminal activities as well as determine the profiles of the victims and offenders who carried out the events. The reports are delivered to the units responsible for patrolling within each zone, allowing them to implement specific policy strategies tailored to the problems of each hotspot, in order to reduce crime within them.”

  • Possible bias: As in all systems that depend on algorithms, the information they provide will be only as good as the data input. This raises a fundamental question: as Lum and Isaac point out in the article “To predict or serve?”, police records do not measure crime, but rather some complex interaction between criminality, policing strategy, and police-community relations. The hierarchy of these databases “is developed from the perspective of and in order to continue outlining a dangerous person, segregating the population residing in certain areas of the city both territorially and socioeconomically.”

  • Public Institutions Involved: Ministerio del Interior

  • Companies/Private Institutions Involved: Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo

  • Other interesting facts: Police stopped using the PredPol program they used for two years because they achieved similar results with their own work with other software. “PredPol is a software that collected information from the Public Security Management System and, with logarithms that we did not know well, intended to predict where crime could happen,” explained Ana Sosa, chief at Unidad de Análisis Criminal from the National Police. “We used it in 2014 and 2015, and we used it in parallel with the analysis of the Crime Analysis Unit. Once the process was completed, we could determine that the results were almost the same, but it had a cost” she said.

    Nevertheless, the same system was also announced to be used by the Argentinian Federal Police: https://www.clarin.com/policial/ They launch-program-convert-federal-police-fbi-argentina_0_B1U936yS7.html