The Mona Geoinformatics Institute, located on the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), has been contributing to the fight against crime through its use of spatial tools, which have been used to transform current police data into varying maps for greater use by the local security forces.
Its work in this area was showcased last Thursday at the UWI's research day, held on the Mona campus.
In his presentation, director of the institute, Dr. Parris Lyew-Ayee Jr., explained what work the institute was doing, and some of its applications.
The unit has done extensive work in mapping crime statistics, in terms of crime patterns annually, monthly, weekly, daily, hourly and by parish, division, community and incidents.
"This is where you use the technology to equip the police force - and how is it that you equip them? Do you give them in light of their resource constraint, do you give them more guns, more cars, more pay or how can you maximise what you already have and the knowledge that is already available," Dr. Lyew-Ayee Jr. said.
The institute has also been able to develop divisional maps for Kingston Western and St. Andrew North. These maps have been used by the divisions in looking at day-to-day ground operations plans, raids, pre-operation scenario and intelligence gathering.
Superintendent Anthony Morris of the St. Andrew North division has praised the work of the institute and said it has helped greatly.
"It has done us a tremendous amount of help, as it has helped us to better identify access ways and pathways, as the maps are more detailed and give us an overhead and three-dimensional view, where we can basically identify houses and other places."
Supt. Morris said the map is used in the daily deployment of troops, and is instrumental in ensuring that patrols are more specific.
Dr. Lyew-Ayee Jr. has also been able to help the police to identify the boundaries of 'communities' or sub enclaves within communities, which he said is used for better planning.