THE sobering statistics recorded at the start of this New Year should force some serious introspection and change. The criminal activity, robberies, assaults and accidents have the makings of a frightening trend. If we continue at this rate, with five new victims in one day, and eight dead within ten days, this new year would be neither happy nor peaceful.
The upward trend in criminal activity places new pressure on the already-burdened police and judicial systems, suggesting the need for new ways of dealing with our problems. If what we have is not serving us adequately, then continuing in the same manner is likely to produce similar results, which are unacceptable.
What can we do differently to reduce the pressure and provide some measure of relief?
Curbing such problems will require personal, societal, political and administrative changes. There may also be ways in which the power of ICT can be used to fight the surge in criminal activity. Here are a few suggestions that may hopefully form part of the solution to make us all safer:
* Eye in the sky
The use of unmanned aerial vehicles, may discretely provide surveillance near well-known hotspots. The use of well-maintained CCTV cameras with facial recognition and automatic motion detection may also deter criminal activity.
* Integrated information
An integrated system of recording, collating and prioritising crime data may help reveal patterns in criminal activity and direct the proactive intervention of our police. Social media monitoring and big data analysis may also hint at unreported incidents.
* Public cameras
Images from the public, business places, ATMs, and police vehicles may provide additional eyes to feed the police intelligence capability. Integrating these feeds may allow a crime puzzle to be pieced together.
* Delayed penaltiesImagine if, based on the strength of processed video recordings, fines and other penalties could be later issued to individuals caught with evidence of littering, improper behaviour or other infractions. More pressing matters could still be immediately pursued, while eventually responding to other incidents.
Equipping the police is but one aspect of the solution. Critical to the success of the above suggestions is the availability and reliable integration of good-quality information. The administrative, technical, and business-process changes needed to implement such reforms may not happen overnight, but you may already appreciate the thinking behind them. Happy 2017!
To share your views, contact the author at: www.datashore.net or via The Voice.
About the Author
Dr.Lyndell St. Ville is a Systems Consultant based in Saint Lucia, and has already served a regional government in upgrading its criminal intelligence and data processing capability.