Patterns are the epistemological core of predictive policing. With the move towards digital prediction tools, the authority of the pattern is rearticulated and reinforced in police work. Based on empirical research about predictive policing software and practices, this article puts the authority of patterns into perspective. Introducing four ideal-typical styles of pattern identification, we illustrate that patterns are not based on a singular logic, but on varying rationalities that give form to and formalize different understandings about crime. Yet, patterns render such different modes of reasoning about crime, and the way in which they feed back into policing cultures, opaque. Ultimately, this invites a stronger reflection about the political nature of patterns.
This item's license is: Attribution 4.0 International