Police Officers being trained to digitally map crime hotspots

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Twenty officers of the Guyana Police Force are undergoing a two-day training which will help them to better pinpoint crime spots and analyse patterns to prevent those crimes.

At the training being, which is being held at the Police Officers’ Training Centre, Camp Street, Georgetown, the ranks are being taught to utilize the Geographic Information System (GIS)- a technology which can allow the officers to understand where crimes occur, predict future occurrences and possibly address the causes.

“Geographic Information System is a useful technology and science to help people to understand where things are occurring,” Consultant, Valerie Grant who contracted to conduct the training last year, pointed out.

Valerie Grant

She added that Police Officers will also be able to note “where future things could potentially occur, do predictive analysis, understand trends, understand hotspots, look at historical information so they can do strategic analysis and look at more recent information so they can do tactical analysis.”

Project Manager Dr Clement Henry noted that the basic goal of the programme is to reduce crime and violence.

“We believe that once we are able to understand spatially where crime and violence are occurring, we can examine also, the socio-economic correlates of crime in those specific locales and be able to offer Government the tools to design strategies that will address not only crime and violence but the correlates in specific areas,” he noted.

This project will not only strengthen the Police’s ability in crime prevention but also assists in ensuring that their efforts are targeted.

In August of 2018, the Government announced that $16M has been awarded for the creation of a digital map of all the crime hotspots in Region Four (DemeraraMahaica).

Dr Clement Henry

The training is being conducted under the Citizens’ Security Strengthening Programme.

When the award was made for the project to begin in 2018, Former Minister of State, Joseph Harmon said it is envisioned that a map similar to the frequently used Google Map will be created allowing persons to see the type of crime which occurred in a particular location at a particular time.

Travel advisories from ABC countries often warn their citizens about a high crime rate in the country. In the past, they have highlighted Tiger Bay, Albouystown, the Stabroek market and seawalls among other areas where precautions should be taken in Georgetown.

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