Technology and the Future of Getting Arrested
An Information systems professor at MIT often says, “Technology feeds on technology.” In this context, for every technological advancement made, there must be a possible counter-technology or improvement.
Today, criminals are using high-end technology to commit crimes. However, on their end, law enforcers and criminal justice experts are also on their toes to develop even more sophisticated techniques to combat such criminals. In this article, we will delve deeper into some of these policing technologies, their future, and practicability.
The Detection, Surveillance, and Positioning Technology
For a long time, law enforcers have been known for being more reactive than proactive. However, some new technologies strive for vice-versa; some of these technologies include:
Gunshot detection technology– Cities are now adopting the remote microphone gunshot sensors that give police real-time gunshot locations, the number of shooters and shots fired. The sensor records any suspicious bang or noise and relays it to software that analyses it and determines whether it is a real gunshot. Once authenticated, the police are immediately dispatched to the scene of a crime. Surprisingly, this process happens within forty (40) seconds of firing. According to statistics from The Chicago police department, in areas where the sensors have been fully rolled out, the technology has reduced homicides and shootings by over twenty (20%) percent within the past two (2) years.
High tech Breathalyzers- For a long time, police only used Breathalyzers for alcohol-related DUI offenses. However, technology has helped to advance the current alcohol Breathalyzer with more sophisticated features. Other experts are burning the midnight oil to develop different types of Breathalyzers, with the latest one being the marijuana Breathalyzer. This is a blueprint of a Vancouver-based company. According to the company’s directors, the technology is in the pilot stages and will probably roll out by 2020. The device will not only detect excessive marijuana but also generate a full report of the extensive amount of THC in a suspect’s system.
Advanced surveillance Cameras and license plate scanning– These are not your basic CCTV cameras; they are ‘intelligent cameras.’ The cameras will have highly advanced features that will help to identify any suspicious activities accurately. These cameras are fitted with multiple sensors matched with real-time programs on the back-end to accurately locate the crime scene using the GPS technology. So advanced are these cameras, that they can notice a person in case they leave an unattended bag on the street. The cameras can also detect abnormal motorists’ activities, and if suspicious, the sensors will scan your license plate for easier tracking. Once fully rolled out, this technology will help to reduce perennial city crimes drastically.
Next generation 911– The current 911 emergency service technology is voice-based. In some crime scenes, the victims are unable to make any verbal communication. Technology, however, has attempted to revolutionize this by advancing a 911 emergency system that allows for other communication means like texts, videos, and photos. With technology, people nabbed in crime scenes like home invasions or domestic violence can easily send real-time footage to the police. This will make the arrests justifiable and ease the prosecution process.
Drones- A drone is a form of flying robot that is remotely controlled or autonomously operated using software that has new integrations with GPS systems or onboard sensors like cameras. The police service is currently using this technology to help them get an aerial view of an area or capture images on crime hotbeds. This technology has helped to ease surveillance and facilitate accurate targeting.
GPS technology– The Global Positioning System is a mapping technology used to locate something on mapped areas. Using technology, police officers can identify a person’s movements in a region, hence easing investigations and arrests. This technology also helps the police in facilitating internal management since the police are equally distributed within the GPS mapped areas. This ensures that more cities are under surveillance. Most of the current police systems are also integrated into the system, making the data collected more robust since the location details of a person are also included.
Use of Big Data and Artificial intelligence
According to a renowned information technology company, the world generates a total of 2.5 quintillion data bytes daily. People provide their information to different sites online, including social media platforms. Substantially, goons and other suspected criminal gangs are also using social media platforms to propel their brand and boast of crime. On the other hand, the police are now relying on the data to curb wrongdoing. The police will often befriend these social media criminals to gather intelligence information and using the information provided as well as GPS location technology; arrests are easily made.
In addition to the social media data, police are also on the verge to collect extra data from people to ease tracking. Traditionally, only fingerprints were obtained, but with technology, other forms of data are being taken. They include the iris, face, DNA, or even palm detection. Additionally, law enforcers are also interested in physical marks like tattoos or permanent birthmarks. All this data is being easily stored thanks to the big data technology. The data helps the police to identify the crime pattern and trends before appropriate action is taken.
The government has also rolled out some data collection systems that will help curb crime. When commenting on the US Crime report for 2017, Christopher Wray, the FBI Director, beseeched law enforcers to try and adopt the NIBRS (The National Incident-based Reporting System). The system will enhance transparency and improve crime management in the USA. On top of this technology, the government, through the department of justice, has also listed some other crime information systems that will help in criminal handling. They include:
- NCIC – (The National Crime Information Center)
- NGI – (Next generation identification)
- N-DEX – (National data exchange)
- NICS – (National instant criminal background check system)
- LEEP – (Law enforcement Enterprise portal)
All these are forms of database systems that will help law enforcement agencies gather vital information, hence increasing a case’s accuracy both for the Vista Criminal Attorney and the prosecution.
Quicker and Effective Identification Systems
With the big data collection and storage systems, police can now quickly trace a person’s data to get their criminal record, through basic searches over the networks. With the NGI, for instance, an individual’s biometric data that includes their fingerprints, face, or palms are collected and matched with their criminal record. Numerous advancements and updates are made on the system to make it the most effective criminal recording database in the USA.
Nowadays, with the current license plate scanners, police can trace and identify any criminal car holder. For example, if the police stop you in traffic, an easy scan on your license plate will help them know your entire criminal history. Additionally, in case the CCTVs in the cities had also ear-marked your car, then it becomes effortless to arrest you instantly. This is also advantageous to the public as well since the technology also helps to curb car thefts.
Automated Report Writing and Record Keeping
Technology has been very instrumental in reducing paperwork. The police are also quickly adopting the paperless technology dubbed the in-car computer technology, making report writing more real-time and accurate. This saves on office time.
Nowadays, police are equipped with portable computers, smartphones, and tablets with apps for report writing. This data is then being uploaded in a shared database, for safer storage and ease future referencing. Some of the advantages of these technologies include:
- Error-free reports with minimal grammatical flaws and spelling errors, especially on people’s names, and the general information.
- Quicker information processing, since the reports made in the field automatically reflect on the online police systems.
- Automatic report backup – hence eliminating information loss and damage to physical reports.
Use of Law Enforcement Robots
The world is shifting towards the robotic era. Today, typically everything can be robotically controlled, including police activities. The Chinese, for instance, are in a phase of developing robots that have police capabilities, these are robots that can perform every police duty in the absence of an officer. In the UAE, The Dubai police have adopted their police robots, with which citizens can inquire, pay fines, and access all the police activities.
More of this technology is slowly creeping into our country as the days pass. In 2016, the police force was said to have acquired a vast number of robots from the military. According to research by wintergreen, the robotics market is expected to burgeon to over $5.7 billion by 2022.
Our technology is, however, not as advanced as in China and the UAE, but the robots help police to access very vulnerable areas, and offset bombs. However, as the technology grows, we will see robots that offer patrol services in a given intersection and some that will easily detect any form of suspicious activity in an area.
How Will Technology Influence The Actual Arrest?
An arrest can be a dangerous ordeal for any law enforcer since most of them react to a crime instantly, and maybe the suspects are ready to counter. However, with real-time crime centers in place, these threats will adversely reduce. The crime centers will be integrated with the surveillance cameras around the cities, and the officer-in-charge of the center can serve the officers on the ground with detailed information of the crime scene and the suspect’s potential. It even becomes more straightforward when the officer knows the address of the suspect they are going to arrest, since they only provide the information to the center while en-route to arrest, and the whole criminal record of the suspect is provided immediately.
Upon arrest, information generation has also been made simpler, since the police have several means of identifying a suspect and generating their criminal record. This is thanks to the NGI, where several options can be used for identification. This helps to save on time for both the suspect and the defense, a local Vista Criminal Attorney would be able to utilize the identification technology to either purport the innocence of the defendant or fight the accuracy of technology.
According to experts, this technology has helped to improve the way law enforcers treat suspects. The arrest process is now very transparent since all your records are available in the database, unlike with the manual recording. On top of this, the police are also carrying body-mounted cameras that are used in recording the whole arrest process, making it rare for the police to suppress suspects.
According to a Professor at Boise State University, the advancement in technology makes arrests more complaisant since most of the police agencies have agreed to leave the traditional interrogation tricks- The Reid Technique. These days, police don’t give suspects false evidence or manipulate the available evidence on a verge to coerce them to speak the truth. With the database and the current security cameras in place, all the evidence will be available upon committing a crime making it very simple even for a Vista Criminal Attorney to argue the case.
A Brief Historical Analysis of The Evolution Of Arrests
- 1862 – The very first adjustable handcuffs were introduced in the market.
- 1888 – A French Official pioneered the first modern mugshot.
- 1924 – The US. Congress authorizes a fingerprint repository and launches the National clearinghouse by the FBI. This formed the foundation of the latest biometric technologies.
- 1968 – The government introduces the 911 emergency number across the country. Initially, this was only voice-based, but as technology grows, the service is allowing for new communication means.
- 1998 – Electroshock weapons are introduced in the country by Taser international.
These are among the significant inventions in the policing department. They form the foundation for the latest trends we are getting today.
The Future of Arrests
Soon, the police will be equipped with hidden sensors that will quickly detect a person’s heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. This information will be used to determine any form of deception from the suspect. The lie detectors which have been rolled out in some cities have also helped police in gathering evidence from suspects.
Technology is timeless; every day, new trends are popping up, easing day by day activities in the police force. However, most of the techniques are lacking public appreciation due to little sensitization. Hence, it is the government’s responsibility to educate people on some of these trends. This will ultimately ease their roll out and enhance their effectiveness.