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TX – GUN CRIME – Crime in Dallas isn’t as random as you may think. Here’s how police can predict it.

A casual glance at a crime map of Dallas suggests the violence that barreled through the city last year was aimless. But a more detailed look at North Dallas reveals a high-risk setting for gun violence stems in part from a concentration of used-goods stores, apartment complexes and car washes. In southeast Dallas, the constellation of motels, gas stations and pharmacies serves as another prime location. Those conclusions were based on an analysis by the Child Poverty Action Lab, a Dallas-based nonprofit focused on improving the lives of kids. The organization released its findings exclusively to The Dallas Morning News. The data comes from emerging predictive police technology known as risk terrain modeling. The thesis behind the algorithm, developed during the last decade by two Rutgers University professors, is that environmental factors have an outsize influence on crime and that small informed changes to neighborhoods can prevent it. Dallas police are set to embrace risk terrain modeling this year as part of their overall effort to reduce crime. The new way of thinking about prevention focuses on places, rather than people. It’s in part an answer to a critique that predictive policing carries too much racial and socioeconomic bias.  [full article]

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