Geospatial Technology a Critical Tool in Crime Fighting

Photo: Rudranath Fraser Trainer in the National Spatial Data Management Division (NSDSM) in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Jumaine Remikie (left), displays a map on the chikungunya and dengue fever outbreak in Jamaica in relation to hospital service areas, which was generated through the use of geographical information systems (GIS) technology. Looking on (from 2nd left) are: Land Information Council of Jamaica (LICJ) Chairman, Alexander Williams; NSDSM Principal Director, Rohan Richards; Acting Director, Crime Prevention Community Safety at the Ministry of National Security, Keisha Wright; and Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Lt. Col. Oral Khan. Occasion was the launch of Geography Awareness Week and the LICJ 25th anniversary celebrations on February 1 at The Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston, under the theme: ‘Geospatial Technologies – National Security and Public Safety’.

Story Highlights

  • Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Dianne McIntosh, says geospatial technology is a critical tool in gathering data to plan, develop and make decisions for crime fighting.
  • The Permanent Secretary’s remarks were delivered by Acting Director, Crime Prevention Community Safety in the Ministry, Keisha Wright, during a ceremony to launch Geography Awareness
  • Geospatial technology refers to equipment used in visualisation, measurement, and analysis of earth's features such as global positioning systems (GPS), GIS, and remote sensing (RS), among others. This is used to garner information that identifies the geographic location of objects or features on earth such as roads, buildings and oceans.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Dianne McIntosh, says geospatial technology is a critical tool in gathering data to plan, develop and make decisions for crime fighting.

“By incorporating traditional law enforcement data with data such as demographics, infrastructure, and offender tracking, we can use geographical information systems (GIS) to transform information into actionable intelligence,” she said.

The Permanent Secretary’s remarks were delivered by Acting Director, Crime Prevention Community Safety in the Ministry, Keisha Wright, during a ceremony to launch Geography Awareness Week 2017, and the 25th anniversary of the Land Information Council of Jamaica (LICJ) under the theme: ‘Geospatial Technologies – National Security and Public Safety for All.’

The function, organised by the National Spatial Data Management Division (NSDMD), was held at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on Wednesday (February 1).

Mrs. McIntosh commended the focus on the use of geospatial technologies to support national security and public safety.

She noted that geospatial datasets can support the crime-fighting effort by determining communication routes, as well as population density, distribution and structure.

She indicated that the NSDMD, which is a division of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, has worked with the National Security Ministry in upgrading the Jamaica Crime Observatory to improve information available to security officials.

This is by mapping the location of reported criminal offences and establishing a database to automate the assignment of spatial reference for future incidents.

“There is no doubt that GIS technology can be used to achieve the Government’s overall goal of economic growth since, as a tool, it can be used to address major national security and public safety challenges that face us as country,” Ms. McIntosh said.

Geospatial technology refers to equipment used in visualisation, measurement, and analysis of earth’s features such as global positioning systems (GPS), GIS, and remote sensing (RS), among others. This is used to garner information that identifies the geographic location of objects or features on earth such as roads, buildings and oceans.

Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Lt. Col. Oral Khan, said Jamaica is considered the forerunner in the Caribbean in the use of GIS technology. He added that the Government is working to further incorporate high end GIS technology in crime data collation and analysis.

Activities by NSDMD for the year will include a series of symposia facilitating discussion on topics such as: drones and GIS, location analytics, climate change and disasters, and GIS for social services. The Division will launch a jingle competition on March 6 and essay and poster competitions on April 3.

These events, as well as a GIS Return on Investment Workshop from April 26 to 28 and a Research Day Mapathon on February 2, will lead up to a three-day regional GIS User Conference and awards ceremony from October 10 to 12.

Geography Awareness Week will run from November 5 to 16 and will include a GIS Day Exposition at the University of the West Indies, Mona, on November 15. The Week is meant to promote awareness of geography, its uses and relevance.

JIS Social