Yearbook Highlights of the Max Planck Society © MPG

Every year, the Max Planck Society presents a scientific activity report in the form of the Yearbook as an account to the public and its funding agencies. The focus is on the questions: Where do we stand and where do we want to go? 15 articles that are particularly suitable and interesting for a non-specialist audience make it into the Highlights issue. This year, a contribution from Freiburg is among the selected reports.


"Preventing crime before it happens". This is the title of the report on a project that was recently carried out at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law. It has now been published in the Yearbook Highlights of the Max Planck Society.

"Preventing crime before it happens" is the catchphrase used to attract interest in what is known as “predictive policing software”. The Institute conducted the first scientific study on how well this software really works in a pilot project in Baden-Wurttemberg.  There, the police used software to predict the higher degree of probability for house break-ins in certain areas. Predictive policing means that software is used to create forecasts about future crime by evaluating data and applying statistical methods. The goal is to take police action on this basis in order to prevent these predicted criminal acts in the first place. The researcher's evaluation of the predictive policing pilot project in Baden-Wurttemberg is the first scientific examination in this field on the European continent.

The Highlights 2019 (report on predictive policing see p. 33)