Part 2: ICT Technologies and Systems for Crime Control
As a country, we need to take advantage of smart solutions and ICT in dealing with the upsurge of crime. The Institute of ICT professionals and other ICT professionals in Ghana have solutions that can be used to reduce or apprehend perpetrators of crimes. The following solutions if properly managed can help tremendously:
- National Communications Network
There are solutions from major vendors in the communication field such as Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia which enables authorities to integrate a diverse range of information modules and communication methods across communities, towns and regions. The prerequisite for this is for the Police Service or National Security to have video surveillance networks across all streets in the country. Private security systems are also encouraged to have IP based networks which can be connected to by National security or the Police Service in times of need. Additionally, there has to be vehicle mounted cameras on all Police vehicles (this is part of smart policing), drones, and portable eLTE solutions which would help to keep watch for incidents of thefts, robbery, civil disturbances, etc. The integration of all these solutions would lead to a zero blind spot in the surveillance network.
With the support of the national communications network, the police service would be provided with ‘eyes’ on every part of the country where hitherto they did not have. This affords the Police service to do monitoring remotely rather than physical patrolling. Patrol teams would rather be positioned at vantage points for deployment to crime scenes or would-be crime scenes. The communications network has to be driven on the back of a strong and dependable broadband network. The National Security can lease fiber links and microwave links from all the mobile Network Operators (MNO’s) in the country or develop its own private broadband network. There should be protection of these networks to ensure that in the event of an outage from one operator, the network can be switched to another operator’s transmission network.
Ghana has several communication towers owned by some Telco’s and tower companies. These towers are available in almost all of our communities. National Security can make use of these towers and install intelligent high definition (HD) video security camera’s to watch over the communities and streets.
Huawei’s eLTE system allows officers to swap incident details securely, and be more agile in pursuit. Responses can be coordinated between central command and local patrols, and criminals can be brought to book more easily. Incident reports can be filed on the spot, via a mobile app from the same handheld device. It also means police can store and organize surveillance data in the cloud, and access, share and query it with greater ease and accuracy. Sophisticated analytics tools improve their ability to identify, classify and match stored video.
- National Identification System
The National ID system is one of the surest ways of reducing and apprehending criminals when established properly. The National ID system should have the ability to identify persons through video or face recognition systems. Once a person is captured on a national security video system, it should be very easy for the Police to do a check on the identity of the person at the National ID authority.
In conclusion, as a country, we are faced with many challenges and major amongst them is the availability of funds. If the Government is really interested in curbing the upsurge of daylight armed robbery in Ghana, then funds should be channeled into securing a national broadband system and video system to enable the Ghana Police Service have ‘eyes’ everywhere in the country. If we are committed to solving issues such as surge in crime rate in Ghana, this can be achieved in months. Additionally, the National Identification system should be designed with face recognition systems that can be used by the Police service to get the identity of suspected criminals. Crime would reduce drastically, because once a crime is reported with accurate location, the Police command can query the system and play back videos of the location and get the identity of the perpetrators. Once criminals are arrested frequently through video surveillance systems, the level of crime in broad day light would reduce.
Author: Samuel Hanson Hagan – Telecommunications Consultant (Member: Institute of ICT Professionals, Ghana)
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