News from the OPM

GIS Technology A Critical Crime Fighting Tool – PM Holness

GIS Technology A Critical Crime Fighting Tool – PM Holness
Prime Minister Andrew Holness makes his address at the inaugural Jamaica GIS User Conference held at Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on October 10. Looking on are (from left): Evan Thompson, Director, MET Service; Valrie Grant, President, URISA Caribbean Chapter; and Hon. Robert Montague, Minister of National Security.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says Geo-spatial Information System (GIS) technology will play a major role in assisting the government’s security objectives. This he said will allow for more informed and systematic intervention, in line with the approach that is being taken to address the level of crime and violence in the country.

“We are enhancing the use of GIS in crime analysis by now including mapped locations of reported criminal offences from which real maps can be created to show hot spots of criminal activities,” explained Prime Minister Holness.

The Prime Minister was speaking at the Inaugural Jamaica GIS User Conference today (October 10) held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.

“The use of advanced analytical tools and advanced imaging technologies enable continuous flow of data between intelligence, law enforcement agencies and security companies in real time and post operations,” said Mr. Holness.

He pointed out that GIS technology has already been used to inform decisions about the Zones of Special Operations.

“It is the GIS technology which identifies the clusters of crime. It is the GIS technology that allows us to create the geographic boundary,” he noted.

According to Prime Minister Holness GIS allows the authorities the opportunity to acquire and verify facts and to see events as patterns which can then inform the basis of predictive information and likely trends. In this way, GIS is a powerful tool for education as well as for meaningful analysis.

Government making major investment in GIS Technology

To this end, the government is making an investment in the utilization of GIS systems for asset mapping.

The prime minister revealed that under the HOPE programme, a GIS group of the National Service Corps has been created. A number of activities is being undertaken by young persons including asset mapping all water metres across the  country, as well as asset mapping of street lights, and the collection of rainfall data for the MET Office.

“There are numerous opportunities for young people to go out and asset map Jamaica’s critical assets using GIS technology,” he declared.

The two-day conference is hosted by the National Spatial Data Management Division in the Ministry of Economic Growth & Job Creation and the Land Information Council of Jamaica.