IN the immediate aftermath of the as-yet unexplained explosion in the Cul-De-Sac quarry last week Tuesday, the jittery public could have been forgiven for speculating and assuming the worst: from bombs, to crashes, gas-leaks or doomsday scenarios! In the absence of official statements, confidence is shaken further, and fuels a vacuum-filling penchant for unsubstantiated witness accounts, which leads to speculation continuing unarrested.
Within the context of delays and jittery nerves, the Monday news stories of callers making bomb threats, heartlessly preying on the fright caused by the recent blast caused significant disruption to sections of Castries. Those false alarms have a seriously negative impact, including loss of worker productivity, business activity and wasted police time. A coordinated response is, therefore, required because to do nothing will embolden the miscreants and lead to further mischief.
Fortunately, modern ICT may provide some measure of relief to calm our frayed nerves and to empower the police. For example,
* Expanding the presence of the Caller-ID feature,
* Deploying call-record technology at affected locations, and
* Updating the law to allow scanning the voices of suspects.
The underlying idea is to use voice recognition technology to identify a person and to deter pranksters from making calls. You may already know of a music-identification smartphone app, like Shazam, that allows you to identify a song by recording just a small sample of it. Even if a determined prankster avoided Caller-ID detection, the automatic recording of incoming business calls could be used to forensically match a suspect. Further, with each incident, the police could compile a growing database of recordings to eventually capture the criminals with their own voiceprints! Neat!
It is a great comfort to recognize that we could continually frighten such lawbreakers from speaking again in public lest they risk getting caught. Let the hunters be the hunted for a change.
To share your views, contact the author at: www.datashore.net or via The VOICE.
About the Author
Dr.Lyndell St. Ville is an ICT Consultant based in Saint Lucia. His expertise includes systems analysis, design, and capacity building.