How an algorithm learns to be racist

A recent report revealed the NSW Police Force are using an algorithm based on the idea of “predictive policing”. It’s aim is to trawl through police records spotting potential re-offending criminals before they’ve committed a crime.  It’s called the Suspect Target Management Plan and it’s designed to reduce violence in the community. So why is it targeting Aboriginal children?

Producer/Presenter: Cheyne Anderson


Lotte, Social Worker

Jo Travaglia, Professor of Health Services and Management in the Faculty of Health at the University of Technology Sydney

Sophie Parker, Redfern Legal Centre

Vicki Sentas, Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of New South Wales, co-author of Policing Young People in NSW 

Megan Williams, Graduate School of Health at the University of Technology Sydney

Special Thanks to Karrah Ceissman


Full statement from NSW Police spokesperson:

The Suspect Target Management Plan (STMP) is a framework which targets recidivist criminal offenders to prevent them from committing crimes and disrupt their capability to commit crime.

A thorough risk management framework is used to ensure the NSW Police Force is targeting the right people at the right times to reduce violence and crime in the community.

On all occasions, the STMP undergoes a quality assurance process by a senior police officer to ensure the validity of the process.

While deliberately engaged by police, STMP nominees are treated with respect and tolerance, but they are reminded that the community will not tolerate criminal behaviour.

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