How Can GIS Help in Tracking Criminals

By CIOReview | Tuesday, October 22, 2019

GIS, a form of geospatial technology, is a better choice for cops and law enforcement officials to detect crimes and execute effective measures against them.

FREMONT, CA: Nowadays, the criminals outsmart cops with their sharp wit in planning and executing unlawful activities. For years, there has been a cat-and-mouse chase between law enforcement officials and criminals. These cops rely on advanced technologies to catch the culprit, and one among them is the use of spatial technology. Incorporation of GIS, a form of geospatial technology in detection, investigation, and tracking will make the law enforcement agencies agile while nipping the criminal activities in the bud. Tracking and tracing, especially when suspects are moving, becomes more accessible with geospatial technology.

Now, it is being adopted by the police departments across the globe. The use cases of geospatial technology in crime detection and prevention are fascinating. One excellent example would be CompStat, which is a crime reduction management tool first deployed in New York in the early 1990s to reduce crime considerably. When implemented, CompStat reduced homicides in the city. It uses GIS to draw real-time attention to emerging crime trends. There are dots on a map that denote the crime-infested localities in a city, enabling authorities to deploy force rationally. Evidently, by integrating CompStat in their workflow, Los Angeles and Baltimore have witnessed a drastic reduction in violent crimes.

Awareness about where the crime occurs is necessary to reduce it. Similarly, knowledge about the happenings in a particular region, the population there, and signs of violence eruption is necessary to mitigate the crime. This is where geospatial technology comes into the picture to support different law enforcement agencies with more effective strategic planning, decision-making, and automated emergency measures. The police forces can increasingly adopt GIS and use this information for the criminal investigation against children where the system can share data with other law enforcement agencies mutually.

In countries with fewer police stations, geospatial technology serves to locate and connect the caller to the nearest police station where the crime occurred. Another useful application is roadside ticketing using geospatial technology for speeding. All the smartphones are geospatially enabled, making it easy for police to keep a check on the speed violators using location analytics. Also, this technology allows locating vehicles using digital systems in them.

Illegal migration is the reason for political convulsions and a lot of chaos in many countries. Applying this technology can help tracking migration and strengthen border security. The technology helps detect those who slip into another country without a passport. From detecting anomalies in crime scenes, cross-border crimes, and identifying patterns, to searching and rescuing, geospatial analytics and artificial intelligence together will facilitate decision-making and give law enforcing agencies the chance to draw certain conclusions and become more proactive. Thus, soon, big data and geospatial analytics are going to be the game-changers.