Machine learning for risk assessment in gender-based crime

by   Ángel González-Prieto, et al.

Gender-based crime is one of the most concerning scourges of contemporary society. Governments worldwide have invested lots of economic and human resources to radically eliminate this threat. Despite these efforts, providing accurate predictions of the risk that a victim of gender violence has of being attacked again is still a very hard open problem. The development of new methods for issuing accurate, fair and quick predictions would allow police forces to select the most appropriate measures to prevent recidivism. In this work, we propose to apply Machine Learning (ML) techniques to create models that accurately predict the recidivism risk of a gender-violence offender. The relevance of the contribution of this work is threefold: (i) the proposed ML method outperforms the preexisting risk assessment algorithm based on classical statistical techniques, (ii) the study has been conducted through an official specific-purpose database with more than 40,000 reports of gender violence, and (iii) two new quality measures are proposed for assessing the effective police protection that a model supplies and the overload in the invested resources that it generates. Additionally, we propose a hybrid model that combines the statistical prediction methods with the ML method, permitting authorities to implement a smooth transition from the preexisting model to the ML-based model. This hybrid nature enables a decision-making process to optimally balance between the efficiency of the police system and aggressiveness of the protection measures taken.


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