JIS News

Opposition Spokesman on National Security, Peter Bunting, is advocating greater use of technology by the police in their crime-fighting strategies.
This, he contends, will boost their operations and activities significantly, particularly where they encounter challenges in getting witnesses to testify in investigations, as well as in the overall management of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
Speaking in the 2009/10 Sectoral Debate in the House on July 7, Mr. Bunting said available technology can be employed in areas such as DNA collection and analysis; computerised face identification programmes, coupled with increased CCTV surveillance; and facilitating patrol cars, equipped with the technology, with instant access to stored data.
Arguing that such a programme can be “self-financing”, Mr. Bunting alluded to the revenue potential of traffic tickets, informing that, currently, the police issue some 600,000 tickets annually at a compliance rate of about 15 per cent. He lamented that there is currently no computerised database of outstanding traffic tickets, and pointed out that “it is very difficult to identify unpaid tickets and even unlicensed drivers.”
“If the Police installed such a computerised database, and combined it with patrol vehicle access, then compliance would be dramatically increased. A compliance rate of 80 to 85 per cent at an average of say, $5,000 per ticket would yield approximately $2 billion in additional revenue which, by itself, could more than pay for any new technology,” the Opposition Spokesman said.
He noted that the reduction of crime and violence continues to be the most “consistent developmental challenge” Jamaica faces, as a society, and contended that the solutions will require and involve a “complex range” of attitudinal, social, and technical interventions in communities and the general society.
While pointing out that some of the solutions may take some time to materialise, he stressed the need for groundwork to commence immediately.
“The police must be at the forefront of the change, demonstrating a capacity to evolve into a modern professional service organisation that enjoys the confidence of the society. Political leaders will also have to demonstrate a new level of bi-partisan co-operation,” Mr. Bunting emphasised.

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