Rethinking predictive policing: Towards a holistic framework of democratic algorithmic surveillance

Rosamunde van Brakel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


New algorithmic technologies are reshaping policing practices and criminal justice in general. However, are they reshaping these practices in effective and democratic ways? And are they reproducing discriminatory police cultures? Whereas community policing has proven effective in crime prevention, predictive policing technologies deployed in a repressive way have yet to show their merit, and research increasingly indicates that the technologies work to disempower communities, while contributing to discrimination and segregation. This chapter proposes to rethink predictive policing in a more empowering, inclusive and democratic way inspired by approaches to democratic technology, democratic surveillance and positive criminology. This implies a shift in thinking towards concepts of empowerment, care, compassion, belonging, trust and participation. The chapter will explore how predictive policing can be rethought to address questions of equality and social justice and contribute to democracy by proposing a holistic framework for democratic algorithmic surveillance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAlgorithmic societies
Subtitle of host publicationPower, knowledge and technology in the age of algorithms
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


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