Gotcha! Computer Technology Helps Catch the Bad Guys

Life is becoming a bit more difficult for those that involve themselves in breaking laws, thanks to several latest digital technologies. For instance, a fingerprint compression technology has been developed by British researchers which function is to transfer prints from the crime scene to the fingerprint bureau in a within four to twenty minutes. Similar researchers are working on technology that recognizes shoe impressions taken from crime spots, a process that is presently being performed manually.

Police in Richmond, Virginia is initiating business intelligence, predictive analytics, and data mining devices to help in reacting more swiftly to a crime and probably to avert potential crimes from happening. The LAPD police make use of criminal recognition programs and video surveillance to gain a panoramic view of activities in a crime-riddled environment.


Several technologies are getting more recognized, like the fairly contentious but highly regarded by CompStat. CompStat helps law enforcement agencies to quickly compile and organize information about the crime. This, in turn, enables officials to recognize new trends in criminal activity and enable law enforcement agencies to better allocate resources.

According to, proponents referred to this technology as “an advanced statistical analysis of crime with the objective to prevent future crimes”.

In With the Old

Sometimes the use of crime-fighting technology involves the use of old technologies in a new and inventive way. For instance, in late 2006, New York City made known its intention to equip 911 call centers for receiving digital videos and digital images sent from computers and cell phones. When people report criminal activities in progress, they can at the same time send videos or pictures of the victim or perpetrator, the crime scene.

The digital imagery offers law enforcement teams and emergency intervention workers with an advance understanding of the circumstances and is probably to provide information not given by frightened callers. As a result, the response teams can better access the preferred approach to incident management. Empowering people to utilize day-to-day technology in this manner has thus been the world’s first, says Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

In the same sense, New York City is fighting domestic violence partly via MapInfo Professional mapping software app. This tool enables law enforcement staff to better visualize the relationship between geography and data.

The city is as well utilizing the MapInfo’s Mapmaker device for analyzing and mapping data and including geographic synchronize the records in the database. A city spokesperson said that he had imported into his MapInfo various city data such as English proficiency rating, road maps, and murder rates and then put them on the map to show trends and patterns.

The information generated by these devices helps the city to decide on the allocation of resources. It as well reveals information about the cultural composition of the region and the languages ​​most commonly spoken in that community. Knowing where victims of domestic violence live and the language they speak, law enforcement officials can better communicate with victims.

Real-Life Success

These technologies and other forensic technologies translate into real-life success stories that affect our lives in a manner we might not have anticipated 20 years ago. For instance, in October in San Jose, the man who drove a stolen Toyota kidnapped a 12-year-old girl. The girl escaped and reported the event to the police. The abductor left Toyota. A few hours later, a patrol vehicle utilizing technology with license plate recognition passed the Toyota. The stolen car commented on the voice of computer-generated technology. A police officer found evidence in the Toyota that led to the arrest of the kidnappers.


Europe and the United Kingdom have utilized license-plate recognition technology for more than 20 years, although, it is comparatively new in the United States. The police could manually enter the registration plates into the computer, but this technology allows the scanning of every license plate of each car they pass. An officer may now check up to 12,000 plates per shift, instead of 50 which can be done manually, although the technology raises concerns about privacy.

The present technology, a forensic light source as well enables investigators to see traces that cannot be seen with the bare eye. Meanwhile, this is a time-consuming and an awkward process, since forensic teams must check separately for each kind of fluid. Once the new technology is commercialized and patented, it will dramatically speed up this process.

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