(JAMAICA GLEANER) – Beginning this month, 100 phablets will be provided to the traffic police as part of a pilot project aimed at improving the efficiency of the island’s ticket management system.
A phablet is a small pocket-sized mobile device that is a bit larger than the size of an average smartphone.
They will allow for electronic recording of tickets, eliminating the need for manual data entry, and enabling quick identification of dangerous drivers.
Minister of National Security, Dr Horace Chang, explained that “what we are seeking to do is to ensure that we can build out connectivity between a small machine that they write the ticket on, to the police control centre, to the courts office, to the tax office and to the Island Traffic Authority”.
“Once the ticket is written, nobody can take it out of the system again…Once you write the ticket in a phablet… it will also give [the police] real-time connection to the police database so that they can identify vehicles that may be involved in criminal activities,” he added.
Chang said that the technology will assist the police in apprehending “high-value criminals”.
“Oftentimes, the high-value criminal will not be caught with a gun in his hand… he may very well may just be driving through a community, so if you have stopped him to check on his identity, immediately, you have a greater capacity to apprehend him,” he noted.
Chang, who was addressing members of the diplomatic corps at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston recently, said that the Government is investing in modern technology as part of efforts to modernise and rebuild the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
He cited initiatives to improve communications, surveillance and enhance accountability.
Chang informed that a Technology Branch, headed by an assistant commissioner of police, has been established to ensure that “not only does the JCF have the requisite equipment but they have a team to manage, maintain and optimise use at all times”.
Furthermore, he said that the islandwide network of camera surveillance systems dubbed ‘Jamaica Eye’ is very useful to the police and contributes significantly to maintaining public order.
These cameras monitor public spaces across the island and assist the authorities in responding to a disaster, act of criminality or accident.
Turning to other matters, Chang said that a specially trained quick response team, which was launched in Montego Bay “is working effectively… and we expect to expand that across the island”.
He added that the Ministry is putting in place a maintenance programme for the general upkeep of police facilities and vehicles.