Using machine learning to forecast domestic homicide via police data and super learning

Jacob Verrey*, Barak Ariel, Vincent Harinam, Luke Dillon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We explore the feasibility of using machine learning on a police dataset to forecast domestic homicides. Existing forecasting instruments based on ordinary statistical instruments focus on non-fatal revictimization, produce outputs with limited predictive validity, or both. We implement a “super learner,” a machine learning paradigm that incorporates roughly a dozen machine learning models to increase the recall and AUC of forecasting using any one model. We purposely incorporate police records only, rather than multiple data sources, to illustrate the practice utility of the super learner, as additional datasets are often unavailable due to confidentiality considerations. Using London Metropolitan Police Service data, our model outperforms all extant domestic homicide forecasting tools: the super learner detects 77.64% of homicides, with a precision score of 18.61% and a 71.04% Area Under the Curve (AUC), which, collectively and severely, are assessed as “excellent.” Implications for theory, research, and practice are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number22932
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 21 Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).


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