Mon | Sep 24, 2018

Using technology in crime fighting

Published:Thursday | October 26, 2017 | 12:00 AM


These days, everyone is a text, an instant message, or a WhatsApp away. The way we use technology has changed; once a luxury, now a necessity. We are a generation of heavily reliant social media users, scrolling up and down our timelines multiple times a day.

Recently, the Minister of National Security Robert Montague announced that mobile apps are being developed to improve policing. I think Mr Montague has finally found the game-winning shot. We cannot be content with our old methods of crime-fighting when we are up against a highly organised, heavily powered, and tech-savvy criminal network. 'Yuh cyan fight text wid telegram'.

It is refreshing to see Montague's administration's commitment to investing in technology and intelligence gathering, rather than the traditional methods of attempting to fight crime from the top.




The new apps will:

1) overlay the statistics of the police on a Geographic Information System (GIS) map of Jamaica, and;

2) enable members of the force to log in for their shift from a smartphone. Coupled with the existing stay alert app, which holds information on laws and allows citizens to alert the police, I believe we are on to something. What the minister has started is monumental and will set the standard of future crime-fighting efforts. It is 2017, if you are not looking towards technology, you are looking in the wrong direction!

All this innovation comes from a minister who bears the brunt of our criticisms on a daily basis. I can't help but wonder what would be possible if he actually had our support.

Sharon Silvester