E-Diaries Project Assisting Crime Fighting

Story Highlights

  • A pilot project to replace paper diaries in police stations is already starting to significantly impact the ability of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to analyse and respond to crime trends.
  • Known as the E-Station Diary project, the initiative seeks to eventually make electronic, the recording of reports, complaints and administrative entries, replacing the big, expensive books now being used at police stations across the island.
  • Police Commissioner, Dr. Carl Williams, speaking at the recent opening of a computer lab at the Mobile Reserve, thanked the Minister of National Security for supporting the initiative, hailing it as an important step for the JCF in the fight against crime.

A pilot project to replace paper diaries in police stations is already starting to significantly impact the ability of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to analyse and respond to crime trends.

Known as the E-Station Diary project, the initiative seeks to eventually make electronic, the recording of reports, complaints and administrative entries, replacing the big, expensive books now being used at police stations across the island.

It is currently being administered in the Area Three Division, which includes Clarendon, St. Elizabeth and Manchester, and is soon to be launched in Area One, which comprises Trelawny, St. James, Hanover and Westmoreland.

Assistant Commissioner of Police with responsibility for Area Three, Kevin Blake, who developed the software, which was launched in April of this year, told JIS News that the E-Station Diary allows for better analysis of reports and entries, which is significant in the fight against crime.

Furthermore, ACP Blake said with the current station diaries, certain analysis of data is almost impossible.

“For example, a single individual may be recorded in more than one station diary in a single station for separate incidents that may be related, but it’s very difficult to analyse that to see a trend or even a series of threats against an individual over a period of time that may manifest itself in a crime later on,” he noted.

He said this situation is compounded when the information is recorded at different police locations.

“This (electronic system) allows you to do a full analysis using key word searches, so you can look at trends developed over a particular incident or an individual’s encounter with the police over a period of time, regardless of the division it takes place in,” ACP Blake explained.

Another disadvantage of the paper diary is that its use is restricted to one person at a time.

“You have a diary, which is the most used book in the station, and once someone is using that book to enter a single record, then all the other records that are contained within that diary cannot be accessed by other users,” he pointed out.

The E-Station Diary allows access to records even while other records are being edited by another user.

ACP Blake told JIS News that it also allows supervisors to better oversee the activities of officers, while monitoring entries, which may end up forming part of an investigation.

He said implementation of the project, which is supported by the Ministry of National Security, is being monitored by an oversight committee established by the Inspectorate of the Constabulary.

He said the committee has reported that the pilot project is making commendable progress and officers have been responding well to the new technology which, so far, allows Wide Area Network access across the division headquarters in Area Three.

“Most of the users are eager to stop using the paper diaries because they find it much easier to use the electronic copy. This is a very good indication as to the anticipated success of the project,” he said.

ACP Blake told JIS News that the electronic system is inherently more secure than the paper diaries, as it’s hosted on a private network owned by the JCF.  It also uses secure socket layers, while the application itself has several layers of security.

Police Commissioner, Dr. Carl Williams, speaking at the recent opening of a computer lab at the Mobile Reserve, thanked the Minister of National Security for supporting the initiative, hailing it as an important step for the JCF in the fight against crime.

“We are proud that we are coming into the 21st century finally with this kind of technology,” he said.

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