The Guyana Police Force (GPF) is being called upon to adopt ‘smart policing’ in its crime fighting efforts, as the systems being utilised are outdated.
The call was made by President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, who said the new dimension of policing requires ‘eyes on you’ which means more monitoring and intelligence gathering.
“I want to propose a pilot study in which we have digital reporting booths that is in strategic areas. We put an electronic booth where people can go and write their own statement, make their own report and send it electronically to the police. So, there is no interface or interaction. So, if there is fear in going into police setting or going into a police station, then a digital platform in the form of a digital reporting booth can help this,” President Ali stated.
Dr. Ali said the force will have no choice but to up its game as it relates to crime fighting as government will be investing in the technological advancement of the force. He pointed out that $2.5 billion has been allocated to expand the safe city programme beyond the perimeter of Georgetown.
“Technology has the potential to be a game changer in policing. Over the past few years, we have seen how CCTV cameras have positively impacted our crime fighting strategy. The police have been able to utilise footage often from private businesses and homes to help detect crime and to identify those involved in carrying out criminal activities.”
“Information technology will be used to assist our police planners to better map crimes and utilise analytics as a crime fighting tool. Face recognitions and vehicular licence plate technologies will also be utilised to intercept law breakers,” the President noted.
Technology will also be deployed to ensure safety on the roadways, the President made clear. He said the reckless use of the roadways must be brought to an end as Guyana cannot continue to lose its human resource to preventable road accidents. It was emphasised that the roads are not racing circuits.
“I have already signalled that we will install fixed speed radars on our main roads so as to identify those who use our roads recklessly and to photograph these infractions. This will be a costly investment, but one which is absolutely essential to stem road carnage.
That system must be automatically linked to the suspension of licences and so on. So, we now have to make the laws work. We have a lot of modern laws …that is not giving us the results because the system is not in place to allow the law to give us the result that is needed and I want to put Guyana on notice that this is the direction we are going.”
Additionally, the President also disclosed that discussions have begun with the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) for the implementation of a digital ticketing platform.