There is not even a single area, job function, and industry that technology hasn’t touched upon. Thanks to technology, today’s law enforcement organizations are able to function way more effectively and efficiently than before. In other words, technology has transformed the functioning of law enforcement and police departments and simplified their crime prevention journey. In fact, there is numerous research on different types of crime prevention technology and how these technologies are helping law enforcement agencies to detect and prevent crimes. The technological innovations that are shaping the future of law enforcement begin with emerging technologies that support new concepts of operations, enabling the interventions and relationships that keep society safe. There are many crime prevention technology devices that are helping law enforcement and police officers to fight crime and keep us all safe. Let’s look into the different types of crime prevention technology and their applications.
9 Types of crime prevention technology
1. Robotic cameras
There is a huge difference in the ratio of crimes happening to the number of police officers available. In other words, it impossible for police and law enforcement officers to be present everywhere at once at a crime scene! Also, at times it’s risky to send officers to the crime scene. That’s why robots have been specially designed to visit the crime spots that officers can’t visit. Thereby, saving the lives of many brave police officers.
However, officers need to control these robotic cameras via remotes. Because it’s wireless, officers can operate these robots from anywhere, anytime. In addition, these robotic cameras have an electric motor and special wheels – which allows them to move and climb at a really fast pace. Today, police officers are using this crime prevention technology – robot cameras to detect bombs, and search suspicious homes and vehicles.
2. Face recognition technology and lie detectors
Facial recognition technology is one of the most popular crime prevention technology devices. And today police use them extensively to detect people who have committed crimes. This technology has been around for a while. But today, having analytics algorithms to process images in real-time is making it much more effective than before. Recently, several men were arrested at a Six Nations rugby match using Automated Facial Recognition (AFR) software. This software helped police to compare the image of a suspect against 500,000 custody photographs to find a match.
Also, eye detection software, motion, and sensor technology help officers detect psychological and physical behavior to determine if people are telling the truth. This device is known as a polygraph. In other words, polygraph measures and records several physiological indicators such as blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and skin conductivity while a person is asked and answers a series of questions. The logic is that deceptive answers/lies will produce physiological responses that can be differentiated from those associated with non-deceptive answers/truth.
Did you know? The Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) is testing crime prevention technology called – Automated Virtual Agent for Truth Assessments in Real-Time (AVATAR) to help border security police monitor the reason for foreigners’ entry into their country.
3. Big data and IoT
Today, police forces are starting to use big data, machine learning, and predictive analytics to understand and combat crime. This is how it works – first, police will harvest the data from the Internet of Things (IoT). And then the police will analyze the gathered data to make sense of the crime patterns and trends. By applying predictive analytics and machine learning to big data, police can now predict where the next crime may take place.
4. Handheld lasers
Today, police officers are using handheld lasers in many of their crime scene investigations. Handheld laser spectroscopy devices can spot the chemical composition of an unknown substance in no time. For instance, If you come across a suspicious substance, handheld lasers will be able to give you the chemical makeup of that substance on the spot.
In addition, this device has saved a lot of time for officers who otherwise would have to spend a lot of time in the lab determining the nature of that suspicious substance. Also, they help officers maintain distance from harmful substances which they wouldn’t have recognized otherwise and may end up hurting themself.
5. Automatic license plate recognition
The same technology that’s helping toll collectors to automatically scan and collect the registration details on your license plate is now being used by police for a variety of law enforcement purposes. For instance, to identify stolen cars, catch people who have active warrants, etc.
This crime prevention technology is helping police officers to automate and speed up the process of taking down license plates and checking them against law-enforcement databases. In addition, ALPR cameras can be used in police cruisers. In fact, law enforcement agencies have already mounted these cameras at streetlights, intersections, etc. in many cities.
These multiple cameras will help in capturing images of the same license plate which in turn will help police to track a vehicle’s movements over time. Thereby, revealing details about an operator’s whereabouts – the data that could be useful in catching criminals.
6. Mobile devices like tablets, smartphones or iPads
The introduction of iPads and other tablets had made an officer’s job easy and less stressful. And most importantly helping them save a lot of time. iPads allow officers to do just about anything especially when they are away from their department desk. In other words, officers can now file accident and incident reports wirelessly, look up photos of suspects, and access other critical information in a state crime database – from any time, anywhere. Thanks to iPads/tablets! Now police officers can use the saved time to actively patrol the streets and prevent crime.
7. GPS vehicle-pursuit dart
Now, imagine a group of police officers chasing the most-wanted, notorious terrorist on the road with helicopters following from above. Looks dangerous, isn’t it? Because what happens on the road is not in the polices’ hands – anything can happen! And that’s scary! To prevent this scenario, law enforcement agencies are working towards developing a GPS vehicle-pursuit dart. This new technology shoots a special GPS-equipped dart that sticks to a fleeing vehicle. And lets officers track the vehicle’s movements without having to chase them! This new device is still being developed and fine-tuned for law enforcement use. Hopefully, it will be available soon!
8. Thermal imaging
Thermal image cameras, some available as small hand-held units, uses infrared imaging to detect heat emitted by humans and animals. This law enforcement technology allows police officers to see a thermal view of their surroundings – offering an identifiable and reliable “heat picture” of their environment. That is, this small, handheld device helps officers locate suspects hiding in a dark building, investigate crime scenes, and conduct search and rescue operations. In other words, this technology has life-saving applications from firefighting to search and rescue missions. For instance, finding a lost child or senior citizen in a blinding snowstorm, etc.
9. Gunshot detection systems
Gunshot detection system shows police officers – the place of the gunshot incident. That is, this new and still improving technology uses sensitive audio sensors to detect gunshots and show officers the exact location. This device is extremely useful, especially in areas where there aren’t enough officers to be on patrol 24/7.
The use of technology in law enforcement and crime prevention is developing rapidly – helping to keep our cities and communities safer. Have you come across any other interesting crime prevention technology? Share it with us by dropping us a comment!