01482 778 463
Client Focussed
No Win No Fee
Specialist Legal Teams
Hudgell Solicitors™ | Latest News | Computer intelligence is a step forward but should never replace subjective decisions made by police officers on holding suspects

Computer intelligence is a step forward but should never replace subjective decisions made by police officers on holding suspects

Police Cell


It has been interesting to read that police in Durham are preparing to introduce an artificial intelligence (AI) system designed to help officers decide whether or not a suspect should be retained in custody.

The Data for the Harm Assessment Risk Tool (Hart) classifies suspects as being of low, medium or high risk of offending.

It was tested in 2013 by using police records of offending history between 2008 and 2012 to see how accurate it was in predicting whether suspects would offend or not over the next two years.

Sheena Urwin, head of criminal justice at Durham Constabulary, has said the system is likely to be used by officers at the force in the ‘next two to three months’.

It could therefore be used when deciding whether to keep a suspect in custody for a few more hours, whether to release them on bail before a charge, or, after a charge has been made, whether to remand them in custody.

System has proved accurate – but there are concerns over potential to wrongly detain suspects

There can be no denying that the system proved to be highly accurate during the testing period, with forecasts that a suspect was low risk turning out to be accurate 98 per cent of the time, while forecasts they were high risk accurate 88 per cent of the time.

However, although these stats look impressive, given my role in supporting victims of wrongful arrest and unlawful detention at Hudgell Solicitors, I have concerns over 12 per cent of suspects wrongly being assessed as ‘high risk’.

If considered using this Hart score alone, there would certainly be a danger of holding a suspect in custody, when in fact, they could be proved completely innocent and no threat to committing further crime.

It is also being reported that the software has been designed to be more likely to classify someone as medium or high risk, therefore erring on the side of caution to avoid releasing suspects who may commit a crime.

In my opinion, it is a dangerous move to introduce a system which is influenced in any way to reach a certain conclusion. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?

Police forces must have a genuine reason for arresting a person and then detaining them in custody, and they must follow set procedures to stay within the law themselves.

If people are held for longer than appropriate, it can be unlawful imprisonment, so this technology, particularly given what has been revealed, must be used with caution.

Recommendations must be carefully considered, and impact of system must be scrutinised

The introduction of Hart as a system for officers to use is being described as a ‘live experiment’, and officers will only use the system in a random selection of cases, so that its impact can be compared to what happens when it is not used.

Its developers have been keen to stress it will be used in an “advisory” role, and should not remove discretion from the police officer using it.

That will be key in ensuring mistakes are not made, as no matter what volume of stats and data are available to a piece of software – no matter how advanced – it will never match the subjective, informed and knowledgeable view of experienced police officers.

Ms Urwin has said that suspects with no offending history would be less likely to be classed as high risk by Hart, though if they were arrested on suspicion of a very serious crime such as murder, it would have an “impact” on the output.

In such a case, computer software would surely be at a huge disadvantage to the officers involved in investigating the offences and benefitting from being aware of continually updating evidence on the case, and speaking to witnesses.

Helen Ryan, head of law at the University of Winchester, has described Hart as “incredibly interesting” in principle, saying that ‘potentially, machines can be far more accurate – given the right data – than humans.”

That is something yet to be proved, and until that is the case, it should be used with caution, and only one aspect influencing decisions over detentions of suspects.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

*Required

The Author

author image

Andrew Petherbridge

Head of Civil Liberties

ap@hudgellsolicitors.co.uk

Request a callback

Request A Callback

I am an existing client.










Or call us FREE on:

01482 778 463


trust pilottrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot star

The data you submit will only be used by Hudgell Solicitors and only for the purpose of dealing with your enquiry.
See full privacy policy.

Looking to see if you're eligible?

Get in touch for free legal advice

0808 159 7699

Call today to speak to an expert

OR
Start your claim

What Our Clients Think

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Caroline was great in handling my case

"Caroline was great in handling my case, very informative and always kept me up to… "

Mr Richard Brook

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Dispute with EasyJet

"Although Hudgell offices were not local to us, there was no need for concern, as… "

Glyn

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Always on the ball

"Always on the ball! Great at what they do, very professional and fast with a… "

CHRISTOPHER CURTIS

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service

"Excellent service. Very happy with result. Thank you."

Miss Erika Panakova

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Was an easy process and the caseworker…

"Was an easy process and the caseworker was very informative and very knowledgeable on my… "

Rachel Fee

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Lovely business to deal with

"Lovely business to deal with. Would recommend to anyone."

Mrs Kelly Byrnes

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great communication

"Great communication! My solicitor was lovely to deal with, open and listened to me."

Sue Ockendon

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very happy with how they managed my…

"Very happy with how they managed my claim. I would recommend them."

Mr Steve Roberts

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very helpful and truly understanding in…

"Very helpful and truly understanding in a very sensitive case would highly recommend to anyone"

Miss Sarah Morris

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Friendly

"Friendly, supportive and professional, couldn't ask for more."

Mr Adrian Fisher

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

A first class service with a heart too

"I never had claimed before and was quite apprehensive about dealing with claims solicitors as… "

M Sheikh

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

They made me feel that I wouldn’t be on…

"They made me feel that I wouldn’t be on my own after my experience. They… "

Mrs Melinda Diane Tovey

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

The service was excellent and Lauren…

"The service was excellent and Lauren Cartwright kept me well informed and gave good advice… "

Mr Roger Harrison

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Recommended company

"Excellent service, fully recommended. Efficient communication and reliable."

Mr R Taylor

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Hudgell took over my road traffic case…

"Hudgell took over my road traffic case from a different solicitors and successfully negotiated a… "

Mr JSW

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Hudgell Solicitors made my personal…

"Hudgell Solicitors made my personal injury claim so easy, they got me the treatment i… "

Mr Nick Todd

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

I have never used solicitors before

"I have never used solicitors before, my dealings with Hudgell have been excellent I have… "

David Varley

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very helpful

"Very helpful"

Ethan Ferguson

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

First Class service

"Hudgell Solicitors are currently working on my case and I must say so far the… "

Emma Jeeves

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Always kept me up to date on all…

"Always kept me up to date on all correspondence concerning the case and acknowledged any… "

Mrs Anne Marie Wells

Rated 9.4 out of 10 based on 454 reviews

Powered by Trustpilot

Our offices

London

55 Fleet Street
EC4Y 1JU

VIEW DETAILS

Hull

No 2 @ The Dock
46 Humber Street
HU1 1TU

VIEW DETAILS

Leeds

10 Park Place
Leeds
LS1 2RU

VIEW DETAILS

© 2018 Hudgell Solicitors®. All Rights Reserved.

Hudgell Solicitors is a trading name of Neil Hudgell Limited | Director Dr. Neil Hudgell MA LLB (Hons) LLD | Registered in England No. 7078429 | Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority | SRA No. 521372 | VAT Registration No. 254 7802 90