AGM and meeting on Policing and Criminology

The next meeting of the section will be held on 10 December 2018 from 14.00-17.00 at the Royal Statistical Society, 12 Errol Street, London EC1Y 8LX. The AGM of the section will be from 13.40-14.00, immediately preceding the meeting.

The meeting will be on policing and criminology. We will have four speakers:

  • Professor Jim Smith (University of Warwick/ Alan Turing Institute)

Graphical Models to Help Investigate Violent Criminals

One serious challenge in providing support for policing various kinds of systematic violent crime is that cases can be very dynamic and idiosyncratic. In this talk I will outline the progress we are making in designing new graphical interfaces that help to separate the enduring structure of these processes from their more ephemeral features. Our Bayesian models have derived from earlier studies concerning the synthesis forensic activity level evidence but are now applied to resourcing models to support the prevention of crime. This reports on ongoing work undertaken by a team of researchers at the Alan Turing Institute.

  • Dr Anjali Mazumder (Carnegie Mellon University/ Alan Turing Institute)

Algorithmic Tools in Justice – bias and fairness, a causal lens

There has been an increasing use of algorithmic tools to support decision-making across public sectors, including financial, human, health care, policing and criminal justice services. The use of such algorithms is not new. However, with growing recognition of the bias and potential for unfairness that such tools may possess and perpetuate, researchers have begun to develop methods to achieve algorithmic fairness. In this talk, we discuss the use of algorithmic tools in justice, their potential for and inherent bias and implications on fairness in such high stakes decision-making, and approaches to achieve algorithmic fairness. We will take a particular causal lens to explore the fairness of algorithmic tools in which forensic science plays a central role in both the investigative and evaluative stage of a criminal case. This latter work reports on ongoing work undertaken by researchers at the Alan Turing Institute and Carnegie Mellon University.

  • Professor David Tuckett (Psychoanalysis Unit, UCL)

Making Decisions under Radical Uncertainty

How can academic study help business-leaders, policy-makers, regulators or those in in a courtroom, make better decisions? For a long time now, the answer has been by using tools such as game theory, expected utility theory, subjective utility theory to provide them with optimal choices – and often with major success. However, are these tools always – or even usually – appropriate? What role do specifically human qualities of imagination, feeling and intuition have to play? What is the role of analysing “data” properly and is the conclusion to draw from academic research that humans are poor decision-makers, influenced by bias and emotion, so that we would be better relying on AI as often as possible?

This talk will review these questions by introducing the work of the UKRI funded CRUISSE[1] network and introducing Conviction Narrative Theory, as a model for human decision-making when there is deep uncertainty.

[1] Confronting Radical Uncertainty in Science, Society and the Environment.

  • Dr Toby Davies (Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science, UCL)

Understanding and predicting urban patterns of crime

One of the most crucial steps in preventing crime is understanding where and when it happens: as well as providing a basis for the deployment of police resources, such insight also provides a rationale for the application of place-based interventions. Traditionally, gaining such insight has been a particular challenge, given the complexity of behaviours involved, and its utility has been primarily descriptive. In recent years, however, improved data availability, coupled with the application of analytical techniques from other fields, has revealed a number of statistical regularities in crime data; most notably, its heterogeneous distribution in space and time and the prevalence of space-time clustering. In turn, the presence of these regularities has raised the possibility that they can be leveraged in order to predict the locations of future crimes by applying algorithms to past crime data. In this talk, I will briefly review this background, before discussing recent research which examines the role that urban structure – in particular the street network – plays in shaping these patterns. I will discuss the implications of this for crime prediction, and show how the adaptation of algorithms to account for this structure leads to improved predictive performance. In conclusion, I will describe a real-world implementation of predictive policing and identify opportunities for further exploitation of data in the field.

Attendance at the meeting is free of charge but registration is required. The registration link can be found here:

https://events.rss.org.uk/rss/299/home

 

Advertisements

Colloquium – the UK civil law approach to epidemiology/ statistical evidence

The next meeting of the section will be on 11 June at Fountain Court Chambers. We will be discussing the role of epidemiological and statistical evidence in civil law. A range of speakers will present their view and there will be time for discussion. Sign-up for this meeting is required as the number of attendees is limited. The registration page can be found here:

https://events.rss.org.uk/rss/frontend/reg/thome.csp?pageID=66413&ef_sel_menu=1295&eventID=214

Details

Date:     11 June 2018 – 2-5pm

Venue:  Fountain Court Chambers, London EC4Y 9DH

Chair:  Dr Claire McIvor

Format:

  • Practitioner’s view by Leigh-Ann Mulcahy QC
  • Judge’s view by Mr Justice Stuart-Smith
  • Legal academic’s view by Professor Jane Stapleton
  • Statistician’s view by Professor Jane Hutton
  • Epidemiologist’s view by Professor Alan Silman
  • Open discussion

Aim:

To consider the approach in case-law regarding the validity and application of epidemiological and statistical evidence in UK civil law and in particular:

  • Whether, and in what circumstances, statistical evidence can be used on its own to prove causation;
  • the validity and application of the “doubles the risk” test to (a) proof of defect and (b) proof of factual causation;
  • whether there is confusion about how the civil (balance of probabilities) standard of proof operates and its relationship with factual causation;
  • whether the right experts are being used in court in relation to these issues;
  • the differences between epidemiological and statistical evidence;
  • the relevance of the Bradford-Hill criteria;
  • whether there are any gaps evident in understanding/approach between the law and statistics/epidemiology and, if so, how these might best be bridged?

 Relevant cases:

XYZ v Schering Health Care [2002] EWHC 1420 (QB)

Sienkiewicz v Grief (UK) Ltd [2011] 2 AC 229, Supreme Court

Heneghan v Manchester Dry Docks Ltd [2016] 1 WLR 2036

Metal on Metal Hip Litigation judgment (forthcoming)

Relevant materials:

ICCA/RSS guide “Statistics and probability for advocates: Understanding the use of statistical evidence in courts and tribunals” at pp.67-70: http://www.rss.org.uk/Images/PDF/influencing-change/2017/ICCA-RSS-guide-version-6-branded-171019-REV03+designed-covers.pdf

Dr Claire McIvor: “Debunking some judicial myths about epidemiology and its relevance to UK tort law” Med.L.Rev 2013, 21(4), 553-587

Professor Jane Stapleton: “Factual causation, mesothelioma and statistical validity” LQR 2012, 128 (Apr), 221-231

Dr Gemma Turton: Evidential Uncertainty in Causation in Negligence (Hart, 2016)

Professor Philip Dawid: “The Role of Scientific and Statistical Evidence in Assessing Causality” in Professor R Goldberg (ed) Perspectives on Causation (Hart, 2011)

Slides from joint meeting with RSS local group

Slides from the talks at the joint meeting with the Glasgow RSS local group on 27 February can be found on the local group webpage:

https://sites.google.com/site/rssglasgow/events

Slides can be downloaded by clicking the link next to the speaker’s name.

Thanks to the speakers Professor Jane Hutton and Dr Tereza Neocleous for an excellent meeting! For a summary, see the following link:

https://www.statslife.org.uk/members-area/member-news/sections-and-local-group-meeting-reports/3414-glasgow-local-group-statistics-and-the-law-joint-meeting

Meeting – the role of databases in forensic science

On Tuesday 15 March, a Section meeting on the role of databases in forensic science was held at the Royal Statistical Society headquarters on Errol Street, London. We had three very interesting talks:

  • Professor Graham Jackson (Visiting Professor of Forensic Science at Abertay University and Consultant Forensic Scientist at Advance Forensic Science) and Mr Adam Baines (Forensic Specialist, Lancashire Constabulary) spoke on  “The use of databases in footwear mark cases”. The slides can be downloaded here: GrahamJacksonAdamBainesSlides,
  • Dr Tina Lovelock (Interpretation Lead, Cellmark Forensic Services) spoke on “Non-DNA databases and collections in forensic science”, and
  • Dr Ian Evett, CBE (Forensic Statistician, Principal Forensic Services) spoke on  “The logical foundations of forensic science: future challenges”. The slides for this talk can be downloaded here: IanEvettSlides. Dr Evett’s paper on this topic (which is in a special issue of Philosophical Transactions B on the paradigm shift for forensic science) can be found here: http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/370/1674/20140263.

To sign up for notifications of future meetings, you can sign up to the Section mailing list via the “Mailing list” tab.

Meeting – the role of databases in forensic science

Date: Tuesday March 15th, 2016

Time: 2.00 – 4.30 p.m

Location: Royal Statistical Society, 12 Errol Street, London EC1Y 8LX (www.rss.org.uk)

Statistics and Law Section – the role of databases in forensic science

2.00 – 2.10 Introduction

2.10
Professor Graham Jackson
(Visiting Professor of Forensic Science at Abertay University and Consultant Forensic Scientist at Advance Forensic Science)
Mr Adam Baines (Forensic Specialist, Lancashire Constabulary)

The use of databases in footwear mark cases

2.50
Dr Tina Lovelock
(Interpretation Lead, Cellmark Forensic Services)

Non-DNA databases and collections in forensic science

3.30
Dr Ian Evett, CBE
(Forensic Statistician, Principal Forensic Services)

Database issues in relation to DNA evidence

4.10 Discussion

4.30 Close of meeting.

The meeting is free to attend but registration is required.  Please register by sending an e-mail with your name and affiliation and mentioning the date and title of the meeting to events@rss.org.uk.

All interested non-members of the Royal Statistical Society are welcome.  Refreshments will be available before the meeting.

Any enquiries to roberto.puch-solis@lgcgroup.com

Second meeting – AGM and legal epidemiology

On Wednesday 21 October, the second meeting of the Section was held at the Royal Statistical Society headquarters in Errol street. At the AGM preceding the meeting it was announced that no further nominations for committee members of the Section had been received, so the provisional committee were duly elected. Following the AGM, three presentations were heard:

Professor Alex Burdorf, Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam ‘An epidemiologist’s experience of giving expert evidence in asbestos litigation’ DownloadSlides

Dr Claire McIvor, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Birmingham ‘A view from legal academia: the doubles the risk test and other basic mistakes that the courts make about epidemiology’

Professor Philip Dawid, Emeritus Professor of Statistics, University of Cambridge ‘Legal epidemiology and the significance of the distinction between effects of causes and causes of effects’ DownloadSlides

Seminar on Legal Epidemiology – October 21st

The next meeting of the Statistics and Law section of the Royal Statistical Society will be held on Wednesday October 21st from 2.30 – 4.30 p.m. at Errol Street. It will be preceded by the AGM at 2.00 p.m.

If you are planning to attend please register at events@rss.org.uk

Epidemiological evidence and tort litigation: A study in judicial confusion about basic statistics

2.00 – 2.30 Annual General Meeting

Seminar on Legal Epidemiology

2.30 – 2.35 Welcome and Introduction by seminar chair, Dr Claire McIvor

2.35 – 3.10 ‘An epidemiologist’s experience of giving expert evidence in asbestos litigation’
Professor Alex Burdorf, Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam

3.10 – 3.45 ‘A view from legal academia: the doubles the risk test and other basic mistakes that the courts make about epidemiology’
Dr Claire McIvor, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Birmingham

3.45 – 4.20 ‘Legal epidemiology and the significance of the distinction between effects of causes and causes of effects’
Professor Philip Dawid, Emeritus Professor of Statistics, University of Cambridge

4.20 – 4.30 Concluding thoughts

Tea and coffee will be available before the seminar.

Travel Information: The nearest tube stations are Moorgate, Old Street, Liverpool Street and Barbican.