Norfolk Police deny it uses a computer to decide whether to investigate burglaries


Norfolk Police have issued a strong denial to allegations in a national newspaper that it uses a computer to decide whether a burglary is worth investigating.

The Daily Mail claims today the county's police force are closing cases if a computer decides there is no chance of making an arrest.

But Norfolk Police says the story is inaccurate and every crime reported to them, including burglaries, is investigated. However a computer program is being tested.

An algorithm, which has been developed by an academic working with the University of Cambridge, is however currently being tested to see whether it can assist with whether burglary investigations should be allocated for further enquiries.

Using the analysis of thousands of burglary cases in Norfolk, the algorithm is based on 29 factors including solvability, against which each burglary incident is assessed. This generates a recommendation on whether the case should then be allocated for further enquiries.

However, all cases including those in the trial, are still overseen by members of the Norfolk Investigation Management Unit and the recommendations made by the algorithm can and will be overridden if the member of staff feels there are further enquiries which need to be conducted.

The results of the trial will be evaluated before any decision is made on future use.

– Norfolk Police